18 Jun 2013

Damage assessed in flood-hit Christchurch

3:56 pm on 18 June 2013

Christchurch City Council staff and contractors have spread out across the city, gathering information and helping to tidy-up streets and drains after heavy rain in the past few days.

An average month's rain fell in just one day on Monday, causing significant flooding. The city was drenched by 110mm of rain in 36 hours with the suburbs of St Albans and Mairehau were the worst hit.

Some flood-hit residents blame their earthquake-damaged drainage system for some of the damage.

John Mackie, the council's transport and greenspace unit manager, said the city experienced a one in 10-year rainfall. The council has carried out maintenance work to remove silt and free up waterways and creeks throughout the city.

Mr Mackie said while the recent quakes have affected land levels in some areas, rainfall of this duration would have caused flooding issues even before the tremors.

Building inspector Robert Bailey, who lives in Mairehau, said the area has had heavier rain but these days the broken drainage system can't cope. He said he knows the drains are broken as he and his neighbours have put cameras down to see the damage.

The Ashley Bridge was damaged in the flooding.

The Ashley Bridge was damaged in the flooding. Photo: RNZ

Ashley Bridge closed

A Canterbury bridge damaged in the floods will be closed until further notice after one of the piers was swept away.

The Waimakariri District Council says a detailed survey on the Ashley Bridge on Cones Road on the outskirts of Rangiora will only be possible once the river level is lower.

The council's utilities and roading manager, Gerard Cleary, said on Tuesday it is too soon to know how long the bridge will be shut. Traffic diversions are in place.

Nelson-Tasman clean-up

Civil Defence in the Nelson-Tasman region say it could take six months to return to normal. Downpours that began at the weekend caused slips and serious flooding and a woman was killed after her house was badly damaged in the worst of the landslides.

Operations controller Jim Frater said although flooding in 2011 covered a larger area, the latest floods are particularly serious. Roads out to Kaiteriteri and Marahau are open, but are still dangerous on Tuesday.