Heavy rain, flooding again in Christchurch

12:25, Apr 29 2014
Jade Spring
UNREAL: Jade Spring, 11, outside her family home in Harrison St, St Albans.
Bethany Oskam on Fifield terraceg
KEEPING DRY: Bethany Oskam on Fifield Terrace.
Paisley Street, Sumner
NOT QUITE THE SEA: Paisley Street, Sumner
Abberley Cres, St Albans
STUCK: Residents in Abberley Cres, St Albans, will have difficulty getting to work today.
Stanmore Rd flooded driveway
Oxford Terrace at 7.50am.
RUSH HOUR: Oxford Terrace at 7.50am.
Oxford Terrace at 7.50am.
CENTRAL CHRISTCHURCH: Oxford Terrace at 7.50am.
Lyttelton street turns into a river
DOWNHILL: This steep Lyttelton street is under water.
Heathcote River
HEATHCOTE: The river banks have disappeared as this picture shows - taken from Palatine Tce looking across Fisher Ave.
Flooded foundations
WATER TRAP: Building foundations on the corner of Madras and Southwark streets in the central city fill up during the torrential rain.
Bowenvale Ave Centaurus Rd
CLOSED: Roads are closed at the corner of Bowenvale Ave Centaurus Rd.
Intersection of Durham and Hereford St
CITY CENTRE FLOODS: Intersection of Durham and Hereford St.
Exeter St flooding
DOWN THE PLUGHOLE: Floodwater whirls around a drain on Exeter St, Lyttelton.
Richardson Terrace trampoline
AFLOAT: Trampoline in Richardson Terrace after the Heathcote River burst its banks.
Avon River under Fitzgerald
RISING: The Avon River, flush with its banks, creeps up under the Fitzgerald Bridge.
Avon River, Fitzgerald Ave
BROKEN BANKS: The Avon east of Fitzgerald Ave floods over the street.
Aynsley terrace flooding
ADVANCING: Water creeps up to a road block on Aynsley Tce, near Centaurus Rd.
Francis Ave house floods
INDOOR POOL: This Francis Ave home has been inundated.
Francis Ave
UNDERWATER: This Francis Ave driveway is impassable.
Little River flooding
TIDAL: Floodwater washes a rubbish bin down the street in Little River.
Francis Ave abandoned cars
FOOLHARDY: Motorists who drove through a road-closed sign were forced to abandon their cars.
Eastern Tce dinghy
DESPERATE MEASURES: A resident in Eastern Tce, Beckenham, fancies his luck with the oars.
MacKenzie Ave flooding
COVERED IN WATER: Mackenzie Ave, Opawa, is turned into an outdoor swimming pool.
Eel on Rossall Street
OUT OF HIS DEPTH: Phil Dewar snapped this picture of an eel crossing Rossall St at the intersection with Heaton Rd.
Beckenham School flooding
SCHOOL'S OUT: The grounds around Beckenham School turn into a bog due to the heavy rain.
Aldwins road firefighters
ON CALL: Firefighters, facing a busy day in Christchurch today, help out in Aldwins Rd, Woolston.
Waltham Rd bridge and Fifield Tce - taken at 10am
AFLOAT: A van under water near Waltham Rd bridge and Fifield Tce at 10am.
Sheldon St Woolston
HELPLESS: Water is pouring into homes in Sheldon St, Woolston.
Mike Barber in flooded house
CONTENTS UNINSURED: Mike Barber surveys the damage in his Sheldon St home.
Kayak in Linwood flood
BEST WAY TO TRAVEL: A kayaker trucks down the gutter in Linwood.
Heathcote river flooding
WAIST DEEP: Amanda Savage sent in this picture of deep flooding at the corner of Riverlaw Tce and Esher Pl.
Wildberry St flooding
FINDING FUN IN THE FLOOD: Levi and Caleb White keep checking on the water levels in Wildberry St, Woolston.
Opawa Church flooding
NAVIGATING FLOOD: A keen kayaker paddles towards the church on the corner of Aynsley Tce and Opawa Rd.
Flooding in garden
NO SPRINKLERS NEEDED: "Sorry Christchurch, I over-watered the garden," wrote Rajeev Bhana when he sent in this snap of a flooded garden.
Riverlaw Tce flooding, snorkeller
SCUBA SEASON: Josh Smith needs diving equipment to locate the road in Riverlaw Tce, St Martins.
Cathedral Square pool emerges
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: A new pool has replaced a building site.
Lugging beer through floods
IMPORTANT STUFF: A Riverlaw Terrace resident transports "vital" supplies on a body board through Heathcote River flood waters.
Aldwins Road motorcyle in flood
BIT OF SPRAY: This motorcyclist gets a covering on Aldwins Rd, Woolston.
Top of Heathcote Valley flooding
VALLEY FLOODING: Heathcote Valley resident Loius Dudson sent in this picture of his garden stream in flood.
Matlock St flooding
BROTHERLY LOVE: Mario Williams of Matlock St, Woolston, takes his sisters Mia and Natalia for a ride down the road during a break in the storm.
Fitzgerald ave flooding car submerged
FITZGERALD AVE: A car is partially submerged in flood waters on Fitzgerald Ave.
Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Cameron Cook, left, and Construction Contracting CCL staff sandbagging in Aynsley Terrace.
Heavy rain and strong winds in Christchurch. Jack Doyle (11) crossing Warrington St.
A horse is fed emergency food stocks on Farmland flooded looking from Tunnel Road, in Heathcote.
A months rain in 24 hours is how its been described. The city was grid locked in places for hours as commuters tried to get to work. Several St Alban's residents were evacuated and spent the night in a CD Welfare Centre The Avon River burst its banks. A woman carries her shopping through the flood waters.
Another miserable day in Opawa by the Heathcote River.
Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Construction Contracting CCL staff sandbagging in Aynsley Terrace.
Heavy rain and strong winds in Christchurch. Tony Doyle carries Andy Kimber across Warrington St after helping out neighbours on Flockton St.
A months rain in 24 hours is how its been described. The city was grid locked in places for hours as commuters tried to get to work. Several St Alban's residents were evacuated and spent the night in a CD Welfare Centre The Avon River burst its banks. Alison Naylor of Frances St has had liquefaction and has now been flooded out two years in a row.
St Albans area. Sean Hermanspahn (17) wades through the water with his laundry.
Christy O'Hagan, 18 years old on the left with Shonagh O'Hagan walking down Voelas Street in Lyttleton were flood water turned the street into a river.
Hekmat Sultani, 22, from Heathcote, took a day off work to jetski in his neighbourhood, pictured here on Scruttons Rd in Heathcote.
Krystal Merrick and Dan Evans from the NZRT-12 Emergency Response/Rescue Team travel up the Heathcote River flooding waters along Riverlaw Terrace in their new rescue boat, donated from the lotteries ministry travel with a Red Cross member from RC23 team.
Pete Sheild, in his truck is rescued on Canterbury Street in Lyttleton after a river of flood water eroded the side of the road.
Glen Fife tend to his sunken car just off Clarendon Terrace in Woolston.
Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Aynsley Terrace residents Pip Oliver, left, and partner Tak Tothill.
A resident looks out her window at a rescue team starting their engine on the Heathcote River flood waters on Riverlaw Terrace.
Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Monty McKeefry, of North Beach.

Prime Minister John Key says it is "ridiculous" that Christchurch floods every time it rains, but the city needs to offer solutions.

He said the Government was reluctant to red-zone areas of Christchurch hit by flooding, as it was waiting for firm proposals from the Christchurch City Council regarding flood mitigation.

Rivers this morning broke their banks, flooded streets and inundated homes for the third time in 10 weeks after heavy rain overnight.  

Madras St closed sign
TRAFFIC WOES: Madras St heading north towards Warrington St is closed this morning.
Warrington St shops
WET START: Traffic splashes through the water outside the Warrington St shops.
Heathcote River at Clarendon Tce
HEATHCOTE: The river has burst its banks at Clarendon Tce this morning.
Clarendon Tce
AWASH: Clarendon Tce flooded again by the Heathcote River at 7am.
Diggers sinking
SINKING: Diggers under water as the Avon River spills over.
Palatine Tce, Heathcote River
RIVER OVERFLOWS: Palatine Tce disappears under the Heathcote.
Avon River from Worcester St bridge
AVON RIVER: Picture taken from the Worcester St bridge.
Wheelie bins float down Heathcote River
AFLOAT: Rubbish bins float down Aynsley Tce as the Heathcote floods again.
Car under Heathcote floodwatersg
STALLED: A car on Clarendon Tce disappears under the Heathcote floodwaters.
Waimea Tce rubbish afloat
RUBBISH DAY: Rubbish floats into a Waimea Tce garden.
Carrick St floods
NOT AGAIN: Carrick St under water.
Landy Street, Dallingtong
AWASH: Landy Street, Dallington
Hinemoa Street, Spreydon
CRAZY: Back yard in Hinemoa St, Spreydon, under water for the third time in about 10 weeks.
Archers St
WET WALK: Zach Williams carries Jessica Curtis on his shoulders followed by Emma Curtis and Becky Douglas as they walk down Archers Street.
Rose St awashf
AWASH: Water pours out of a burst water main in Rose St.
Julie Cairns
CLOSE WATCH: Flockton Basin resident Julie Cairns hopeful water will not enter her home again.
Archers St, Flockton
NOT AGAIN: Archers St, in the Flockton basin.
Peter Timbs butcher in Edgware Rd
SANDBAGGING: Peter Timbs butchery in Edgware Rd.
 Wading through 'Lake Heathcote' on Eastern Tce
OFF TO WORK: Wading through 'Lake Heathcote' on Eastern Tce.
Children stare at rising waters in Riverlaw Tce
UNREAL: Children stare at rising waters in Riverlaw Tce.
Amir Hassan
EVACUATED: Amir Hassan, his wife, and their five children under 5, had to leave home.
Adam Peat
WELL-DRESSED: Adam Peat wades into Riverlaw Tce.
Portaloo floats along Heathcote River
FLOATING LOO: A toilet tips into the Heathcote River on Eastern Tce.
189 Waimea Tce
INDOOR POOL: A Waimea Tce home has inches of water inside.
Great weather for ducks
GREAT FOR SOME: Good weather for ducks, not so good for this Eastern Tce garden.
Riverlaw Tce
WEARY COMMUTE: Riverlaw Tce residents had a tough trip to work this morning.
Ngaio St, St Martins
FOURTH TIME: This Ngaio St property in St Martins has flooded repeatedly.
Lindsay Rush
LINDSAY RUSH: His Slater St home has flooded for the ninth time.
Eastern Tce floods
HEATHCOTE: Picture taken from Palatine Tce looking across to a flooded Eastern Tce.
FLOCKTON BASIN 1PM: Speight Street flooding causing road closure.
ROADS CLOSED: Carrick Street closure, one of the worst hit in Flockton Basin.

The city council said flooding was worse than expected despite the MetService yesterday warning up to 50mm of rain could fall.

Key said deciding to simply red zone large chunks of flood-hit areas was not the answer, for now at least.

"If we (the Government), on a whim, decided to red zone, you are talking up to 1000 properties and it would be clear to me that many would not want to move, especially if there has been no analysis done.''


That would not be fair to residents or taxpayers who would ultimately pay for such a move.


Key said it was clear the flooding woes that had struck the city could not be allowed to continue unchecked.

"It's not credible for Flockton Basin residents. You can't have a 100-year flood every two weeks. It's ridiculous.''

The Government, though, was waiting for the council to provide proposals on solutions before it could act, Key said.

"You can't have people being flooded every time it rains in Christchurch. The situation needs to be resolved and resolved quickly.''

The prime minister's comments come after he told Newstalk ZB that the Government was not in a position to decide whether any further parts of Christchurch would be red-zoned.

"Ultimately this has the potential to affect hundreds and hundreds of homeowners and I can't tell you if the right answer is red zone," he said.


Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said a flooding task force would present a report to council and central government by May 12.

She said the task force had been separated to allow them to focus on short-term solutions, rather than the longer-term projects such as the options to reduce flooding in the Flockton Basin.

Council land drainage operations manager Mike Gillooly said the task force would officially start work tonight and that he would bring on as many people, from council, Scirt and other contractors, as needed to produce the report.

Dalziel said any talk about temporarily relocating people from flood-prone areas was different to red-zoning. Red-zoning was developed to address issues around earthquake-damaged land, she said.

"I don't think people should get hung up on the phrase 'red zone'," she said. "We are only really talking about land that can be remediated."

"It will be valuable land again in the future."

Is your street or home flooding? Send your pictures to newsflow@press.co.nz


Several streets in the area in and around the Flockton Basin have flooded for the third time in less than two months.

Lindsay Rush's home on Slater St has flooded nine times since the February 2011 earthquake. "We laugh at them, but I get a wee bit frustrated," he said.

Rush had lived in the house since 2009 and said it never flooded before the earthquakes.

Flockton Basin resident Julie Cairns said the floodwaters were only half a centimetre off entering her Archer St home this morning, but it was not as bad as it had been during other recent flooding events.

One of her toilets had been "taken out" because it was slightly lower than the rest of her house, but her sleepout had not been flooded this time.

"If I still had my car though - which I don't because I lost it in the March flood - I couldn't drive up the street."

Jo Byrne left her Carrick St home after the March 5 storm that caused widespread flooding across Christchurch.

Her home was one of about 80 inundated with water during that event, most in the Flockton area.

Chris Timbs has been at his Edgeware butchery since 3.30am, trying to keep the floodwaters out of his shop.

The Peter Timbs store was closed today, but staff expected to be at the site all day as they worked to remove water from the Edgeware Rd building.

"Sandbags have helped, but unfortunately it's above the foundations so it's coming in from the sides," Chris Timbs said.

A burst water main in Rose St this morning flooded Cashmere High School and forced the evacuation of one home.

Addington Fire Brigade station officer Murray Jamieson said the flooding had brought up mud "like liquefaction".

"It's turbulent. It's like Cook Strait in a major storm," he said.

Amir Hassan, his wife, and their five children under 5, evacuated their home about 9am after the torrent broke their fence and water spilled through to the back of the brand new property, where they have lived only four months.


The Christchurch City Council had geotechnical teams monitoring hillside areas for any signs of land instability including new cracking to land or buildings, existing cracks getting bigger, leaning or bulging of retaining walls, and rockfalls.

The council hjas also warned that floodwaters could be contaminated, and advised residents to avoid the water where possible or make sure to wash their hands and remove and wash any clothing that got wet.

Numerous streets across the city and Banks Peninsula were closed due to flooding.


Businesses and residents in Akaroa, Duvauchelle and Little River were yesterday still cleaning up from the last flooding 10 days ago, but had to restart the job after being inundated with water again today.

Little River Garage owner Malcolm Ussher said he planned to go home for a cup of coffee and "wait for the water to go away". 

About 20cm of water had flooded the front of his garage, while a smaller volume had gone through the workshop at the back.

"We left everything up on Sunday because they said it was going to hit us yesterday at 6am."

He was tempted to leave everything up high after being flooded three times in less than three months. "But you can't really trade like that."

Ussher said he hoped to reopen the garage later today when the floodwaters receded, to "help our local customers". 

Further south, North Otago and South Canterbury were also hit hard by the severe weather.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has advised that State Highway 1 at Hilderthorpe, north of Oamaru is closed due to flooding today.

NZTA also issued cautions for State Highway 83 between Pukeuri and Duntroon, State Highway 1 between Clarence and Hundalee, State Highway 75 between Little River and Akaroa and State Highway 8 between Twizel and Tekapo.

Meanwhile a heavy rain warning for Dunedin was lifted last night.

In the North Island, high winds were buffeting the capital this morning - however heavy showers forecast for the Tararua Ranges were expected to ease.

Air New Zealand was warning of some minor flight delays in and out of Wellington due to the strong winds and low cloud.

A Jetstar spokesman said there were no weather-related issues in Wellington this morning.

Wellington Airport was notifying a 50 minute delay on the 8.10am Wellington to Christchurch Jetstar flight.

Airways New Zealand spokeswoman Philippa Sellens said Wellington air traffic control was leaving a slightly larger gap between planes in Wellington this morning for safety reasons.

This could cause some delays but was ''perfectly normal'' in poor weather she said.

The Press