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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Urgent effort to build stopbank

Urgent effort to build stopbank

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 20/04/2011
 
An emergency stopbank has been built along the Avon River to protect homes during high tides.

The stopbank was built along Avonside Dr, between Retreat Rd and Morris St, from Monday night to early yesterday after weekend rain and high tides caused floodwaters to spill across streets and into properties.

Civil Defence director of infrastructure Michael Aitken said the work was part of a series of stopbanks being built along the river, and most of the work had been completed.

"That just hadn't been finished yet but, because of the high tide, it had to be done urgently."

Aitken said Civil Defence did not receive any reports of homes being flooded, but there was "always a risk" that without the stopbank water could have entered houses.

Emergency services dealt with flooding in the Bexley area on Monday, and the Pleasant Point Yacht Club was also flooded.

No homes were evacuated..

Aitken said flooding was largely caused by water going back up damaged drainage pipes.

Avonside Dr resident Rose Hopgood said the stopbank was "a bit late" because it was not the first time the river had flooded across the road.

This time it was up to her gate and "ankle deep".

"We have big puddles, ponds, in the middle of the road because the water's got nowhere to go," she said. "It's a bit trying negotiating the roads the way they are at the moment."

Her home was badly damaged in the September earthquake and further damage in the February quake meant the family would move out after 20 years.

"I'd love to stay here if I could, but we've decided to jump before we're pushed and we've bought a section elsewhere," she said.

Trudi Nicholson said she heard workers building the stopbank through the night but did not realise how close the water had come to her property until the next morning.

She said she planned to leave the area, with part of her house being deemed unsafe and the future of the land still unclear.

"I'm a widow and I wasn't sure of this house, so may want to downsize, but the decision has been taken off me earlier," she said.

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