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Thanks for the help, Christchurch

LISA MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 13/03/2014
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IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ

STORM SURGE: Slips on to an aviation fuel tanker in Lyttelton caused housing evacuations.

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Last Tuesday a friend called me to say Cass Bay was on the Stuff website as a roof had come off in the storm - and she wondered if it was mine.

Her concern wasn't unfounded, my roof is broken due to the earthquakes and I live higher than most in the bay up on the hill.

No, I said, my roof was intact, and we were fine.

I looked out the window, where there is usually panoramic beauty with the harbour, Quail Island, boats, peace and loveliness. There was instead horizontal rain accompanied by raging winds directed at this already bashed up bach.

Only the pane of glass in front of me shielded me from this maelstrom and I felt quite smug. This was merely a bit of blustering by Mother Nature. It didn't compare to the nonsensical rubbish she had repeatedly hurled over the last three years.

I looked out the window at the barracks - the garage fortress of block and iron that has stood steadfastly through quite a ruckus. It didn't look right. The front was flapping with a massive sheet of iron the size of a garage door, which could wreak havoc if it totally detached.

I called the insurance company who informed me I had to be seen to be doing something about it.

A builder couldn't get there as the roads were closed, but I didn't want anyone to be decapitated due to this issue.
I saw on Stuff that the fire service had rescued a flying trampoline and decide that was my best option.

It seems oxymoronic that they put out fires with water, and now the water was the dragon to be slain as they saved saturated garages.

I made the call. The lights and sirens were high-action drama for this little bay. I felt a bit melodramatic when eight burly fellas and a builder arrived at my gate.

They were all heroes. They removed the offending iron and all was well again. They said they couldn't save the garage contents. The big fireman who was inside the garage with me stood there, holding up soggy things saying it was gone. He said insurance would cover the loss.

On Wednesday, the storm began to wane, but so much damage had been dealt to the hills, roads and retainers that there was a landslide, which dinged a tanker of gas.

The road closed again and my post-traumatic stress kicked in with detours upon detours just to get to the local dairy.

I remembered why I had replaced my hatchback with a four wheel drive after the February earthquake when a hatch just didn't cut it. The new car turned this disaster into some warped sense of adventure as I traversed the hills and rivers of mud on the way to Lyttelton.

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It is now Tuesday-week and the storm is just a memory.

I am amazed by the ability of people who work our city in torrential conditions, late on Fridays to help people like me.

I thank the builder who did the emergency repairs when other builders might be having a beer at 7pm, and the volunteer firemen.

I wonder if all these people contemplated days like this when they signed up.

Good on these fine fellows I say, there are so many heroes going about their business on just another Tuesday in Christchurch. 


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