Flood damage a test of endurance

Last updated 06:00 11/06/2014

Kaiapoi teenager Shi Robb was devastated to find her bedroom submerged after yesterday's North Canterbury floods.

SH1 closed due to flooding
Dean Kozanic Zoom
CLOSED: Flooding has closed SH1 between Waikuku and Amberley.
KNEE HIGH: Craig Robb and Shi Robb in her bedroom.

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The room was meant to be 14-year-old Shi Robb's new place to herself.

It was under her Kaiapoi home, away from her parents and right next to the garage where the stock car she recently got from her older brother sat. The room had been hers for three days.

Yesterday, she waded waist deep past the car and into her room to see what was left of it. There was a flat-screen TV and car calendars on the walls. Her drawers were underwater and her bed-frame could not be seen.

"It's just a shock to see it like this," she said.

When her dad, Craig, told her the property was flooding she came home from school. There were a few centimetres of water by 10am.

"Just puddles," Robb said.

She started moving things just in case. An hour later, the water was almost waist deep and threatening to drown the Canterbury Speedway mini-stock champion's car.

"I saw that and I was just a wreck," she said. "I just fell apart. You couldn't stop it. All you could do was watch it."

It was the first time in the 14 years they had owned the house that the garage had flooded, Craig Robb said.

There was a pump going but there was little they could do, he said.

"All you can do is wait."

On the next road over, Andrew Boreham stood in water up to his knees and watched it rising. "The land has dropped. We know when it is going to come," he said. "So why don't they do something about it?"

It was his fourth flood since the Canterbury earthquakes. Both his sleepout and garage were flooded.

He had started having a conversation with his wife about walking away from their property, which still had a mortgage on it.

"You have got to give up some time."

Residents made their way back home for high tide fearing that it might push the water levels up. Others had never left, including Raquel Gourley, who was making sure her 73-year-old mother was coping as the waters rose around her.

"Surely they should be doing something. This just makes things harder."

In Rangiora, Amy Crowe woke at 2am in the morning to the sound of gurgling. She thought there was something wrong with the bathroom. Then she saw the water. It rushed down the street towards her property.

"It was a little scary but you just get into the mode and move things," she said.

Cowe and husband John tried to the stem the tide by lining up wheelie bins and pieces of plaster board. When Civil Defence arrived, it was suggested they allow the water to run through their property. Crowe had already spent the morning vacuuming her carpet free of water.

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- The Press


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