Saturday, 22 July 2017

Emergency declared in Christchurch

Christchurch: Evacuate now - Council tells residents

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The Heathcote River severe flood.
Marcia Butterfield
The Heathcote River on Centaurus Rd, Christchurch, in severe flood.
Flooded affected residents near the Heathcote river in Christchurch are being evacuated in boats because the current is too strong for them to leave on foot.
Significant flooding inundated many streets at the foot of the Port Hills as tides peaked about 3.15pm on Saturday.
Residents were urged to evacuate their homes. Those who couldn't were picked up boat.
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Floods in ChristchurcChristchurch City Council spokesman Ross Pringle said: "If you live in an evacuation zone near the Heathcote River, if your home has flooded since the earthquakes, and the water is above knee level around your house, the current may be dangerous, so for your safety, please stay in your house until help arrives."
"Response teams are out in boats, and some support is being provided from the army to assist you out of your home if necessary. Please call the Council call centre on 0800 800 169 if you are concerned about your safety or want help to evacuate.
"We expect the high tide to cause significant flooding in these areas."
The state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch after the Heathcote River burst its banks.
The state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch after the Heathcote River burst its banks.
He said residents on Clarendon Terrace, Richardson Terrace, Hunter Terrace, Eastern Terrace, Riverlaw Terrace, Palatine Terrace, Ford Road near Louison Place,, Waimea Terrace and other low lying areas around the Heathcote should evacuate.
"You should go immediately to family or friends, or the Civil Defence Centre at Linwood College."
"In other areas of the city, if you are feeling anxious or unsafe, please self evacuate."
Sloane Tce residents are knee-deep in water.
Sloane Tce residents are knee-deep in water.
A local state of emergency was declared this morning in Christchurch after the Heathcote River burst its banks and flooded southern parts of the city.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the declaration on Saturday morning was a precautionary measure to allow the city to deal with any issues that could arise with the high tide due mid afternoon.
High tide in Lyttelton is at 3.17pm.
The Heathcote River flooding near Sloane Tce.
The Heathcote River flooding near Sloane Tce.
"The declaration will enable us to work with multiple agencies to respond, and quickly evacuate people should the need arise," she said.
Coastguard New Zealand are using a four-metre inflatable rescue boat to help evacuate flooded residents around the Heathcote River.
Residents feeling uncomfortable have been asked to self-evacuate before high tide.
Residents feeling uncomfortable have been asked to self-evacuate before high tide.
The Coastguard was called by Civil Defence to assist in the evacuations at about 12.35pm. 
The vessel is equipped with emergency lighting, wetsuits and first aid supplies to ensure the volunteer crew can continue evacuations into the evening if required.
The Civil Defence Centre in central Christchurch re-opened at midday.
The flooded Heathcote River, at Opawa.
The flooded Heathcote River, at Opawa.
Eastern Tce in the suburb of St Martins has flooded.
More than 100 homes have been without power in the Ilam and Riccarton areas since 10am on Saturday.
Streets affected by the outages were Clyde Rd, Konini St, Riccarton Ave, Riccarton Rd, Totara St and Wharenui Rd, according to the Orion website.
Christchurch's Heathcote River was in flood on Saturday morning.
Christchurch's Heathcote River was in flood on Saturday morning. 
Power was expected to be restored by 1.40pm.
A resident on Cashmere's Sloan Tce resident, Cate, who did not want her last name used, said it was just a waiting game to see how much damage there would be – and when. 
"It just gets you really low, it's really hard and some of these people were also hit badly in the last floods so they're doing it really tough.
The flooded Heathcote River in Christchurch.
The flooded Heathcote River in Christchurch.
"The water damages in a way that earthquakes don't, it get gets into everything and leaves it just completely ruined," Cate said.
Soaking wet and exhausted, she was trekking up and down the small, secluded street in waist deep, murky water checking on her neighbours, as they all always did in an emergency. 
"We're down a back property, so if we have to get out we can climb over the back fence, but these guys only have about three centimetres before it's in their homes, so it's just a waiting game. We will just wait and hope," Cate said.
A Christchurch City Council spokeswoman said Civil Defence was not evacuating residents at this stage, however a state of emergency allowed this to be done quickly if necessary.
Residents in the Heathcote area had been asked to self-evacuate before high-tide if they were feeling "uncomfortable".
Council roading teams had been dispatched around the city, while land drainage crews were working in Southshore.
Civil Defence response teams were heading to Heathcote to check on residents and assist them if necessary.
Police are urging rubber-neckers to stay away from places affected by the "wild weather".
Senior Sergeant Steve Bothamley urged people to stay home where possible and not to venture out in the hazardous conditions.
"Police have attended a number of jobs this morning where residents are only travelling to see the damage and witness the wild weather." 
Anyone venturing out in such conditions, contrary to emergency services warning, put the lives of both the rescued and rescuers at serious risk, he said.
"Just please be aware that by heading out in these conditions, you could end up taking valuable emergency services away from critical rescue operations."

Police across Canterbury were checking in on at risk people to provide reassurance.
Anyone self-evacuating was asked to contact their local council or, in the case of an emergency, call police. 
Farmers near Lake Ellesmere are being advised to move stock as its water level continues to rise.
Environment Canterbury has been unable to open the lake, which has no natural outlet to the sea, because of the weather conditions and a large swell overtopping the beach crest.
The lake was expected to continue rising as rain persisted and low-lying areas around the lake's shore were expected to flood.
Residents in the lower areas near Lake Ellesmere were advised to self-evacuate if they felt unsafe or anxious.
The forecast was for conditions to improve enough for works to start on Monday. The lake would take three days to open.
State highway closures are on the NZ Transport Agency Journeys website at
The following Christchurch roads are closed, according to Christchurch City Council:
Emmett St – from Shirley Rd to Orontes St
River Rd – from Banks Ave to Medway St
Dyers Pass Rd – from Sign of the Kiwi to Governors Bay
Riverlaw Tce – from Tennyson St to Hansons Park
New Brighton Rd – from Kingsford St to Lake Terrace Rd
Eastern Tce – from Tennyson St to Malcolm Ave
Palatine Tce – from Tennyson St to Cashmere Rd
Hunter Tce – from Malcolm Ave to Colombo St
Waimea Tce – from Colombo St to Malcolm Ave
Fifield Tce – From St Martins Rd (Cul de sac)
Aynsley Tce – Opawa Rd to Port Hills Rd
Aynsley Tce – from Clarendon Tce to Opawa Rd
Avonside Dr – from Torlesse Rd to Wainoni Rd
Ford Rd – at Louisson Pl
Richardson Tce – From Brougham St to Ferry Rd
Clarendon Tce – at Brougham St Bridge
Cumnor Tce – from Garlands Rd to Marshs Rd
Ernlea Tce – from Stour Bridge St to Colombo St
Here's a list of the current South Island state highway closures, according to the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Many will be roads still closed from yesterday, but at least the first two are new.
SH1 - Rolleston to Rakaia. Flooding. Detour route: All traffic use Telegraph Rd.
SH75 - Halswell to Little River. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH77 - Ashburton to Methven. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH1 - Oamaru to Waikouaiti. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH87 - Kyeburn to Outram. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH88 - Maia to Sawyers Bay. Flooding. Detour route: No detour available
SH8 - Roxburgh to Raes Junction. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH90 - Raes Junction to McNab. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH8 - Raes Junction to Milton. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
SH1 - Balclutha to Waihola. Flooding. Detour route: n/a
Another hammering of heavy rain will bring a further 15mm to Christchurch in fewer than four hours.
The worst of the downpour was expected to be over by about 6pm on Saturday and would add to the 74mm which had already fallen over the city since 3am on Friday, MetService forecaster Tuporo Marsters said.
When combined with an impending high tide, the state of emergency declared in Christchurch was no surprise, he said.
"The main rain band now is over Ashburton, Christchurch ... Timaru's only getting scattered light rain.
"The high tide for Lyttelton is at [3.15pm], so that in combination with the rain is not going to improve things."
Marsters said the worst was over for places south of Timaru as the rain band continued to slowly move north.

"However, all the rain that's fallen inland has still got to make its way [downstream]. That's why the streams are overflowing.
"That's why there's that bit of a lag effect. We get the heavy rains falling around the mountains and that's why the streams are still quite full."
Marsters said the poor weather would very slowly move north as the evening progressed, mostly lingering over the Christchurch and Rangiora areas.
By midnight on Saturday it would be north of Christchurch but would lose its energy as it made its way toward Kaikoura. It would then move east, leaving the Marlborough region unscathed.
In North Otago, heavy rain was also expected to have eased from Saturday morning. In the five hours from 9am to 2pm, 15 to 25mm of rain was expected to accumulate in addition to what had already fallen, especially about the hills and ranges.
In Dunedin, heavy rain had gradually eased on Saturday morning. Strong wind warnings had been lifted for Westland and Fiordland.
Christchurch's expected tally paled in comparison to other South Island towns, with one weather station north of Dunedin city experiencing 245mm since the poor weather started.
* Oamaru, 174mm
* Waitati, 169mm
* Darfield, 151mm
* Methven, 145mm
* Geraldine, 136mm
* Akaroa, 135mm
* Ashburton, 128mm
* Dunedin city, 127mm


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