Flooding in the east and west

02:39, Feb 13 2014
flash flood Avonhead
FLASH FLOOD: Flooding On Maidstone Road between Avonhead and Withells Roads. Leigh McGowan (R) and Nat Donovan, both 22, wade barefoot through in the water.

The clean-up has begun for households across Christchurch after last night's flash floods.

About 28mm of rain fell in the city between 5pm and 7pm yesterday, causing surface flooding.

Anna McWha's garage, which is below street level, was submerged in 36 centimetres of water last night.

Anna McWha
OUT TO DRY: Anna McWha pulls her damp possessions from her flooded Avonhead garage.

The family has lived in their Nortons Rd home in Avonhead  for eight or nine years and the garage has never flooded before.

Neighbours who have lived in the area longer said they had never known the house to flood in the last 20 years.

McWha said a pump normally keeps the water at bay, but last night "it just couldn't keep up".


"It was really sudden. There was nothing we could do."

Neighbours came to the rescue and helped pull items away from the water.

This morning, McWha was pulling items out of the garage to dry out on the lawn. But several items, including a fridge and dehumidifier, were damaged beyond repair.

The family would have to make an insurance claim for the damaged belongings.


Residents in a quake-ravaged and flood-prone area of the city experienced deja vu last night - some for the seventh time.

Parts of the Flockton-Aylesford area of Shirley and St Albans sunk by up to 50 centimetres after the earthquakes. The area has flooded several times since, most severely in June last year.

Derek Gabrielle's home on Stapletons Rd in Shirley flooded for about the seventh time last night. He said he could not understand why his house was still red-zoned.

He checked on his "unliveable" house this morning, and estimated from the water mark on the walls that "about an inch of water" had gone through it. 

Gabrielle and his wife have been renting a house in St Albans since the February earthquake.

The flooding also forced Gay Rathgen and her 14-year-old daughter to leave their Carrick St home last night. They sought refuge at Rathgen's 78-year-old mother's house in Woolston.

In June, flooding destroyed Rathgen's car and forced her from her home for months. She said she could not face losing another car.

Rathgen's neighbour Sophie James was at home alone with a three-week old baby when the deluge hit.

"It was pretty rough. The water came up pretty quickly," James said.

Firefighters were called to help after the flooding entered several homes around the city.

"Basically all we're doing is band-aiding. Once the water is in the house the damage has already been done," a fire service spokesman said.

Firefighters offered "moral support" though and helped lift objects away from the flooding.

A police spokesman said they had received reports of flooding on Blenheim and Lincoln roads.

There had been no reports of crashes or injuries related to flooding, and no roads had needed to be closed, he said.

The Press