Heathcote demands flood risk answers

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 10:22 28/05/2014
Palatine Terrace flooding
Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ

SURVEYING DAMAGE: Palatine Tce was just one of many surrounding streets that flooded when the Heathcote River burst its banks last month.

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Concerned residents living near the Heathcote River want more information from the Christchurch City Council about work to mitigate flood risks in their neighbourhood. 

About 300 people attended a meeting in Somerfield last night for residents worried about flooding in the upper and lower Heathcote River area. 

Representatives from the council's flooding taskforce and other agencies presented information on recent flooding events and the mitigation work to be carried out over the coming weeks.

The taskforce was considering individual protection solutions for the 13 most vulnerable homes in the area, such as house raising or wrapping, while temporary bunding and relocatable pumps could be used to reduce the flood risk for up to 168 properties until long-term solutions were available. 

Labour candidate for Christchurch Central Tony Milne said the ''huge turnout'' showed there was high demand from the community for information on flooding issues. 

Many expressed concerns about the lack of direct communication from the council and about issues getting their calls to the council's call centre followed-up, he said.

It was also important for all agencies involved to continue working together to find ''immediate and enduring solutions''.

''This shouldn't be a political party issue. It's about knuckling down and working together.''

Port Hills Mp Ruth Dyson said she was concerned to see how many people raised their hands when asked if raw sewage had come onto their property during recent flooding events.

''That's your home and to have sewage through your lawn and in your house, that's pretty distressing.''

Dyson said there were ''big challenges'' ahead, but people seemed to appreciate the efforts the council was going to. 

A flooding meeting was held at Little River last week, and a meeting would be held for the Sumner community at the Old School Hall on Wiggins St tomorrow from 7pm.

Further meetings were planned next month for the Flockton and Dudley Creek area, Lyttelton, New Brighton and Southshore, the lower Avon and central city, and Heathcote Valley. 

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