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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bittersweet celebrations in the red zone

Bittersweet celebrations in the red zone

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 6:11p.m.

By Jessica Rowe

As the Government's package was being televised live, residents in the red zone gathered to learn their fate and to party.

They recognise what a ridiculous thing it is they're celebrating – being kicked off their properties – but these are strange times.

Avonside residents gathered at community co-ordinator Leanne Curtis' house to hear the answers they'd waited nine months for.

Just moments earlier they were poised at their keyboards, anxiously waiting to learn the fate of their homes.

They're all sick of living in their munted houses, they're all in the red zone, and at least now they all know they'll have to say goodbye to their neighbourhood.

"I'm feeling very sad," says Ms Curtis. "It was a weird one because we thought that we knew… and maybe we didn't know, and then we did know.

"We love it around here, don't want to leave."

But they're having to quit.

"Good babe bye, see you later," says Rob Howe. "Sally my wife, she's very upset obviously, she loved that place. We're in the red zone. It is what it is. We'll take the land package."

The waiting is taken its toll.

"I'm a bit emotionless, I'm so tired," says Brian. "I won't be able to process this until later, I think, when I get some private space."

But they feel for others in the orange zone who still don't know.

"They will be feeling sick," says Ms Curtis. "They will be right back to that feeling of waiting, waiting, so I feel bad for them."

One group knows its fate, another is caught in no man's land.

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