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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life by the sea returns to a kind of normal

Life by the sea returns to a kind of normal

Last updated 05:00 16/06/2011
The scene on Sumner streets yesterday almost belied Monday's aftershocks.

Residents walked their dogs, cycled, bought coffee and went to work.

The normality was only betrayed by the fresh destruction on the hills, and the water cans and bottles carried by most people.

Like many eastern areas, water is yet to be restored in Sumner.

Sumner fire chief Alan Kerr said the station was returning to normal. After 25 to 30 callouts on Tuesday, he decided he could not keep commanding all his volunteers' time.

"The decision was based on the number of calls we had yesterday. It was reasonably quiet. Also, the fact that the guys work. I can't really justify telling them to take time off work when we're not going to be turning out to emergency situations."

Infrastructure repairs moved past the bottleneck at the Ferrymead Bridge yesterday, and the water supply was restored to McCormacks Bay, Mt Pleasant and parts of Redcliffs.

However, Christchurch City Council water and waste manager Mark Christison said further progress would be more difficult.

"The key in the hill suburbs is to get water in the [hillside] reservoirs and work back down," he said. "We're having some trouble pushing water up the hills.

"The entire city should have water back within 10 days, he said. "If we can get some reservoirs filled up, it might be quicker out [in Sumner], but the water won't be out anywhere near as long as it was last time."

At a communal water tank outside Sumner School, James Roche filled the containers he first used in February.

Water was not a big issue, he said.

"Power is the main thing. If you've got power, that's OK. You can come and get water. OK, you missed your shower, but I'm sure there's people worse off than us."

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