I'd love them to red dot it, says resident

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 01/05/2014
Gavin Pateman flooding

DEPRESSING STUFF: Gavin Pateman waits for floodwaters to recede at his Waimea Terrace home in Christchurch.

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Gavin Pateman wants out.

Standing in ankle-deep water in the backyard of his Beckenham home of 10 years, he would rather be zoned red than face another flood.

The 65-year-old Waimea Tce resident was among dozens of Christchurch homeowners to spend yesterday cleaning up their properties after the Heathcote and Avon rivers burst their banks during Tuesday's heavy rain.

Pateman thinks stopbanks along the Heathcote River are the best solution to what is now a regular flooding problem in the lower Beckenham Loop.

The part-time retail assistant had only just finished the cleanup from the last flood.

This time, the water was over his fence and a metre-deep in his back yard.

Because his property slopes away from the river, it will take evaporation for his back lawn to clear.

"It's worse than gutting. It's depressing," he said.

"It's four 10-year floods, and one 100-year flood, in six months.

"I'd love them to red dot it," he said of the property.

"The value of your house is just kaput.

"Come and live in Waimea Tce, buy a house and get flooded out twice a month.

"There's about 2.5 kilometres of bank that needs to be built.

"Every time you hear a heavy rain forecast, you start to gurgle in the stomach, thinking, here we go again." Neighbour Mark Collins, 80, was "a bit browned off" by the latest flood, which drowned one of his cars for a second time.

He abandoned his home, which is still without cladding after the September 2010 quake, for the night. He carried out his poodle, Ryan, in his arms.

Collins stayed at his daughter's place and returned home about 10am yesterday to clean up.

"It's always flooded but it's happening more frequently," he said.

"But people are worse off than me." Further down Waimea Tce, Doug and Marie Mackley were more in favour of a river dredging than a stopbank.

"The council has got to do something," Doug Mackley, 73, said.

"I've lived here since the 1950s, and this is the worst."

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