Saxton Rd ravaged by flood

Couple sleep in boat after house is swamped

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 16:01 22/04/2013
richmond floods
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ Zoom
An abandoned car on Main Road, Stoke.
Brian Fensom
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ
HELL IN HIGH WATER: Saxton Road resident Brian Fensom indicates where the flood waters rose to during the flooding on Sunday night.

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Water came off the Richmond foothills, joined forces with a raging Orphanage Creek, and flooded residents' houses in Saxton Rd.

Brian Fensom and his wife, Andrea, had six inches of water throughout their house last night.

Mrs Fensom said: "We were just finishing off dinner. We opened the front door, and the water flowed in. We couldn't do anything until it [the rain] stopped. We had to wait."

The couple's cats were "freaking out" during the storm, with thunder and lightning, and one of them hid in a hallway cupboard when water started coming inside.

Mr Fensom said they had lived in Saxton Rd for 20 years, and had never experienced anything like the drama of last night.

"I came outside to check what was going on, and I could just see the water rising. It was a big downpour, and the water has just come down off the hill, and the creek has flooded. It [water] was coming under the doors - just everywhere."

Mrs Fensom said they slept in their boat last night, which was "reasonably dry".

"It leaked a little bit, but it was much nicer than being in here. We managed to get a little bit of sleep."

Their house was in "chaos", and her husband's colleagues were cleaning mud off the road outside.

"We're not really sure where to go next, but we'll just wait for the insurance, and carry on from there."

Tony Vreugdenhil, also in Saxton Rd, said he went into the hallway during the downpour, "and I saw this dark shadow on the carpet".

His wife, Trudi, said water came in through the garage, laundry door, and kitchen.

"We have been here for 10 years, and we have never had anything like this. It was coming in everywhere," she said.

The couple were ripping up layers of sodden carpet when the Nelson Mail visited last night.

Mrs Vreugdenhil said: "I hope insurance comes to the party."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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