Safety warning as clean-up begins

Last updated 11:29 19/04/2014

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Residents and council are in clean up mode after severe storms hit the city yesterday.

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Christchurch City Council and associated agencies were today managing the effects of the adverse weather.

A council spokesperson said people travelling should take extra care with debris and potholes that may have been caused by rain and surface water.

Geotechnical consultants were monitoring known risk areas. Weather had caused slips in Lyttleton and on Scarborough Rd in Sumner.

"The council is asking people in hillside areas to be vigilant, and keep an eye out for any telltale signs of land instability."

This included new cracking to land, buildings, driveways or path, existing cracks that get longer, wider or deeper, leaning or bulging of retaining walls and rockfalls.

Meanwhile Banks Peninsula residents were requested to conserve water as the weather may still impact on local streams and affect water quality.

Water supply has been restored to Lyttelton following the burst water pipe that supplied the Quarry Reservoir.

It was also possible that some remaining flood-waters may be contaminated.

"The council says to avoid the water where possible or make sure you wash your hands and remove and wash all wet clothing."

Orion was struggling to return power to about 400 customers in Banks Peninsula, a spokesman said.

Fallen trees had caused access issues to some properties so it was unclear when all power would be restored.

Areas in Diamond Harbour, Little River and Akaroa were affected. Another outage in St Martins was being worked on, the spokesman said.

Acting General Manager for the council's city environment group Terry Howes said the major issue was land stability. The rain had caused a number of slips around the city - the most serious of which was in Lyttleton. 

He said there were no real problems over night and only a handful of homes in Flockton and in the Port Hills had been seriously affected by the floods.

"By and large people were managing. We had isolated properties that got inundated with water but a lot of people have their sandbags from the last flooding."

He said while the flooding was frustrating for those who had been affected before, the major problem was land stability.

"That's the priority, we want to make sure that we have the roads open."

Most of the roads that were closed yesterday would be open today, he said.

Both police and fire services had not received any serious calls from homeowners due to the storms. Trees had been blown over and they would be cleared if they were causing any danger, he said.

"But we want to give those guys who have worked 24 hours non stop to get some rest."

The weather forecast was good for the next couple of days which would allow the roads to get back to normal by the time people went back to work, he said.

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However in Banks Peninsula and Akaroa there were some minor concerns about water safety.

- The Press


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