Sodden sequel sees locals rallying

AIMEE GULLIVER
Last updated 13:00 27/06/2014
Flood cleanup
MARTIN DE RUYTER/Fairfax NZ

Jo Pattison, right, gets help from family and friends, from left, Emily Gee, Shern Spilman, Paula Johnston, Kisty Huhu and Danie Hall to clean up the mess left by flooding.

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As the floodwaters receded yesterday, Nelson's community spirit was out in full force as people helped friends and neighbours clean up the mess left behind.

In one of the worst hit areas, backyards turned into lakes and driveways into rivers in the suburb of Victory as the rain poured on Wednesday.

At Jo Pattison's house in Emano St yesterday, workmates and family members had turned up to help clear the garage and backyard.

Pattison had fortunately escaped water entering her house, but her backyard was full of water, the garage was coated in silt, and she couldn't open the back gate when she got home due to all the flood debris.

Her workmates had held a meeting yesterday morning, and decided they would take turns on a rotation with the shovel and broom at Pattison's house, while others manned the office. They had also called the Fire Service to request some help with heavy lifting, and a crew turned up to remove mud-caked objects, and hose down areas so Pattison had a pathway again.

Pattison had a guest visiting last night, and had "prewarned her to bring her gumboots", she laughed.

Around the corner, Kevin Williams' unit on Toi Toi St did not get off so lightly, as water flooded in through the door on Wednesday afternoon, and saturated the carpet. He had slept in the flooded room on Wednesday night, and "nearly spewed" at the smell from the sodden carpet, he said.

Insurance assessors had told him to take everything out of his flat so the carpet could be ripped up. But it was a "big ask" for a 67-year-old to do all that, Williams said.

Joshua Blincoe, in Murphy St, considered himself lucky compared to other people in the neighbourhood - while their driveway turned into a river, the water lapped at the door, but didn't make it inside. His car and items inside his garage were wrecked from the flood, and Blincoe was concerned about his work van which had also taken on quite a bit of water, and was not running well yesterday morning.

With a front lawn littered with debris from neighbouring properties, some of his garden had also been swept blocks away in the raging floodwaters, Blincoe said.

The community had banded together over the situation, and had all checked up on each other, which was "really nice", he said.

"The neighbours were really good, all the people who live around here were asking if we needed anything, or any help."

Blincoe was fully insured.

So he had taken some time off to clear up the mess at his house - he hoped others were in the same position. "There's guys further up the street with way worse damage, and I just hope they're insured; some of the damage that I saw was pretty bad."

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- The Nelson Mail

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