Leeston fire brigade flooded with calls

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 09:39 23/06/2013
Canterbury weather, June 22-23, 2013
Kamala Hayman Zoom
A snowman on Summit Rd.

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Heavy rain caused a ''phenomenal'' number of callouts for Leeston's Volunteer Fire Brigade this weekend.

Leeston Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Noel Thian said the calls started coming in early yesterday morning and did not stop until about 1am today, at which point they had received at least 80 calls.

''It was phenomenal . . . it was quite a big weekend for us, but we have had it before back in 1992.''

The main problem was a creek running through the centre of the town, which had burst its banks and caused flooding on High St and around the fire station itself on Gallipoli St.

However, they also responded to calls in the nearby town of Doyleston.

He said the spent the day lifting appliances off garage floors and sandbagging both homes and businesses in the area, which helped stop any major damage occurring.

Sandbagging was the only option as there was no where to pump the water to.

Civil Defence were also on hand to help them out.

''As quick as they were filling them [sandbags] they were leaving the place to go to be used.''

By mid-afternoon help had arrived from Christchurch, Dunsandel, Rolleston and Darfield. 

Thian said they took over to give the Leeston firefighters a breather for about three hours.

He said the ongoing flooding had been an issue for the Selwyn township since heavy rain started falling last weekend. However, there was no more rain forecast for a few more days.

Thian said by the time he went home about 1am today the rain had stopped and the creek had started receding. He hoped they were through the worst of it.

Meanwhile, the Selwyn District Council are asking residents living in Tai Tapu, Leeston, and Doyleston to avoid using dishwashers, washing machines or taking showers or baths where possible to reduce the amount of water released into the wastewater network. 

Portaloos have also been delivered to Tai Tapu and Leeston for residents to use as the sewerage system is not able to cope with the volume of rain from the past few days.

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- The Press

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