Floods 'deja vu' for New Brighton family

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 11:03 06/03/2014
Monty McKeefry
Anna Pearson/Fairfax NZ
WET REMINDER: It was deja vu for Monty McKeefry, of North New Brighton, who had to cope with 400 litres of water that came through his roof last June.

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The hand on Monty McKeefry's head says it all. That, and the seven buckets on the North New Brighton man's office floor.

McKeefry's home in Woodgrove Ave was damaged in the February 22, 2011, earthquake. In last year's June floods, rainwater delighted in finding the cracks.

The Press then ran a story quoting McKeefry's wife, Tracey, who has since left the family home.

Back in June, Tracey told a reporter how the family collected more than 400 litres of water that had seeped through the roof.

Yesterday, it was deja vu for McKeefry and his two children.

In June, McKeefry's insurer, IAG, paid for temporary weather-tightening work that a local roofer offered after hearing about the family's plight.

An "internal guttering system" - a pipe on the inside of the leaky room - did the trick. Until yesterday.

"I got up at about 1.30am and the buckets were overflowing. I felt like packing up and going. It's just getting a bit much now," says McKeefry.

His house, which he spent 10 years building, was "shunted" apart in the earthquake. He finished it two weeks before the quake hit - just as he celebrated his 40th birthday.

Since then, he said, things have been "pretty s..t".

The 44-year-old is yet to find out when his house may be repaired.

It is over cap, so the decision lies with his insurer.

"I am waiting for a final figure. I want to opt out as long as the figure is fair. I know plenty of builders," he says.

"I am doing everything here on my own. It is pretty stressful, but it just makes you stronger - eh?"

Across in Avondale, dirty nappies are floating down Newport St. Sarah Robertson owns up.

They are her son's.

The 38-year-old's rubbish bin tipped over in the storm, hence the nappies, but her house is OK.

Robertson's neighbour, Di van Geylswijk, has lived there for 53 years.

She says she has "lost count" of the number of times the street has flooded.

The 78-year-old has photographs of her grown-up children kayaking down the street as children.

"It gets white caps out there when the wind blows," she says.

"It feels like I am on a boat."

In Tabart St, Woolston, it's Jake Condon who is paddling the street in a kayak.

The Cashmere High School student points out his partially- submerged green letterbox.

Tabart St resident Miranda Hill got in her car to go to work about 6.30am yesterday, but soon decided against it.

A few hours later, three other cars were stuck in the middle of the road, waterlogged.

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"There is nowhere for [the water] to go, because the drains are all blocked," says Hill.

"You can see it bubbling out of the drain."

In Aynsley Tce, Hillsborough, 18-year-old Cameron Cook is helping Construction Contracting CCL staff sand-bag around his parent's house.

His mother, who doesn't want to be named, says the water came within an inch of flooding their lounge.

Her newly-landscaped garden did not get off as lightly.

Nor did the goldfish in her pond.

"When we woke up, the lawn was gone," she says.

"If anybody finds any goldfish, they're mine."

- The Press

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