Flooding a further blow to shaken city

17:31, Mar 08 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
WHERE'S THE DRIVEWAY: Stanmore Rd
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.
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Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Cameron Cook, left, and Construction Contracting CCL staff sandbagging in Aynsley Terrace.
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Heavy rain and strong winds in Christchurch. Jack Doyle (11) crossing Warrington St.
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A horse is fed emergency food stocks on Farmland flooded looking from Tunnel Road, in Heathcote.
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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.
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Another miserable day in Opawa by the Heathcote River.
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Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Construction Contracting CCL staff sandbagging in Aynsley Terrace.
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Heavy rain and strong winds in Christchurch. Tony Doyle carries Andy Kimber across Warrington St after helping out neighbours on Flockton St.
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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.
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St Albans area. Sean Hermanspahn (17) wades through the water with his laundry.
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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.
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Hekmat Sultani, 22, from Heathcote, took a day off work to jetski in his neighbourhood, pictured here on Scruttons Rd in Heathcote.
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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.
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Pete Sheild, in his truck is rescued on Canterbury Street in Lyttleton after a river of flood water eroded the side of the road.
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Glen Fife tend to his sunken car just off Clarendon Terrace in Woolston.
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Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Aynsley Terrace residents Pip Oliver, left, and partner Tak Tothill.
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A resident looks out her window at a rescue team starting their engine on the Heathcote River flood waters on Riverlaw Terrace.
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Flood walkabout in Christchurch including North Beach, Avonside and Opawa/Woolston. Monty McKeefry, of North Beach.

Life is once again in pieces for storm-battered Christchurch residents whose homes have been hit by a succession of natural disasters. Anna Pearson reports.

Mental health experts say last week's Christchurch floods "chucks everything back up in the air again" for those who are still picking up the pieces after the city's 2011 earthquake.

St Albans resident Alison Naylor woke up on Wednesday to her cat, Miss Mayfair, shaking water off on her bed and "five inches of water everywhere".

Carrick St woman and dog
WHERE TO START: A resident surveys the receding waters in Carrick St.
The Thompson family
THOMPSON FAMILY: Kristal, Justin and their kids Tyler, 6, Ty, 4, and Paige, 10, at their Carrick St home, flooded for a third time.
Newport St resident Sarah Roberston
NEWPORT ST: Sarah Roberston tosses away her son's dirty nappies, found floating down the street.
Antoinette McCutcheon cleans up after flood
RAKING UP DEBRIS: Antoinette McCutcheon cleans up outside her St Albans home after yesterday's flood.
Kelly Rush in Carrick Street
KELLY RUSH: "I woke up at 2am to water going through our sleep-out."
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Clean up after flooding in Christchurch. Dan Parkes removing sodden carpet from a Francis Ave home.
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Abbey Cox of Transform Me hair salon in the Warrington Road cleaning up after flooding in Christchurch.
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Post Flooding in Christchurch, Carrick Street in Saint Albans. Damaged carpets awaiting dumping.
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Post Flooding in Christchurch, Carrick Street in Saint Albans. James Adams cleaning up his drive.
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Student Volunteer Army is out in clean up mode again after the weeks flooding. Heathcote Valley residents are benefiting from the Army's resources with mud removal. Students from Heathcote Valley School are also helping.
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Student Volunteer Army is out in clean up mode again after the weeks flooding. Heathcote Valley residents are benefiting from the Army's resources with mud removal. Canterbury University student Hannah Livingstone is on wheelbarrow duty.

The 65-year-old is staying at the Diana Isaac Retirement Village, where she works, until she can return home.

And she is sure of one thing: "It is going to happen again."

Naylor says the land her Francis Ave house sits on dropped about 40 centimetres after the earthquakes.

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Evans Pass slip
HAZARDOUS DRIVING: Hillside slips along Evans Pass above Sumner.
Cliff st, Moncks bay
RARE SIGHT: Cliff st in Moncks Bay is under water.
Evans Pass slips
AWASH: Multiple slips and water running down Evans Pass.
Wakefield Ave, Sumner
PLOUGHING ON: Motorists brave a flooded Wakefield Ave, in Sumner.
Water laps Wakefield Ave house
AT RISK: Water laps at a Sumner home in Wakefield Ave.
Voelas Road flooding
GUSHER: Water pumps out onto Voelas Rd, Lyttelton.
Port Hills Rd flooding
SLOWLY DOES IT: Motorists try to navigate the flood on Port Hills Rd.
Main Rd, Redcliffs
GUMBOOT WEATHER: Flooding in Main Rd, Redcliffs
Redcliffs bus stop
NO STOPPING: Redcliffs bus stop is out of action.
Exeter St floods
MAD RUSH: Residents shovel swiftly to save this Exeter St, Lyttelton, home from water damage.
Canterbury St flooding
CASCADING: Flooding down Canterbury St in Lyttelton reaches new highs.
Flooding on Canterbury Street
COLLAPSING: Floodwater and heavy winds push a truck over the street on Canterbury St, Lyttelton.

On Friday, she was facing a big clean-up job. Miss Mayfair was at the cattery. Her carpet squelched underfoot and four 50-litre plastic bins were at the ready.

"Everything has got to be emptied out, so they can lift the carpet out. I have had a gutsful," she says.

"It has crossed my mind several times to put it all in a suitcase and move on, but where do I go? If there was a good way out - a good financial way out, I wouldn't stay here. The land has had it."

In Slater St, Richmond, Rachel Vonlandkamner and her three daughters are nervous every time it rains. Vonlandkamner's home of nine years flooded in June, and again on Wednesday. "At 1am one of my daughters woke up and said, 'Mum, it's in the house'. We just got everything beautiful again," she says.

Her new carpet, replaced after the June flood, will have to be ripped up."I think after this one, we just think, 'Oh my God, we're stuck here'. We're just so anxious when it rains. It's absurd."

The Flockton basin, in the St Albans/Mairehau area, was heavily flooded, with the water level in parts of the suburbs reaching waist height.

Residents were angry that nothing had been done as a result of similar flooding in the same area last year. Some want a halt on all earthquake repairs until they know about the future viability of their land. The Christchurch City Council says permanent flood protection for homes in the Flockton basin is two years away - at best.

At Diane Shannon's Carrick St property, the roses in her front yard were dying a watery death.

Her car was drying out in the driveway, after being inundated with water - its doors open like a winged ladybug.

Shannon had taken to sleeping on a mattress on her living room floor - the driest part of the house.

Last year, her insurance company increased her flood damage excess from $200 to $10,000.

She found out only when she tried to lodge an $800 claim for damage from the June flood.

Shannon's neighbours, who are with the same company, have not been hit with an increase - yet.

"I'm going to go back to them and say, 'Can you explain this to me?' It seems really unfair and quite arbitrary. If we have another flood in a month, which could happen, I'm on my own," she says.

Negotiating with Earthquake Commission (EQC) and contractors last year was difficult enough. She moved out while her house was being repaired. And now this.

"I think we all know there is no quick fix, but it does have to be a priority. I don't think sandbags are going to cut it really," she says.

Dr Sarb Johal, a disaster mental health Associate Professor at Massey University, says "meaningful" dialogue between residents and agencies is crucial in times of recovery.

Wednesday's flood "chucks everything back up in the air again" for residents who are still dealing with earthquake after- effects, he says.

"It's not just a flooding event. It's the impact of, 'What does it mean?' It all adds to the uncertainty. What we know is that people are really struggling with that loss of agency [control over their lives]. They have been in limbo for quite some time." Psychiatrist Dr Caroline Bell, who is co-ordinating the Canterbury District Health Board's psycho- social response to the quakes, said three years on from the disaster "some people are far from over it".

For those who have now suffered flooding damage as well, "it must be so hard to keep on pulling yourself up by your bootstraps".

"There are people who are really struggling and feeling stuck and forgotten by other parts of the city, forgotten by the agencies and forgotten by the country." Council engineers are looking at two options for permanently protecting 400 low-lying homes in the Flockton basin from further flooding but Mayor Lianne Dalziel says even if the work can be fast- tracked it is likely to take two years to complete.

Sunday Star Times