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Council Tackles Bigger Problems First

Up to 30 inspectors moved around the trouble spots of Christchurch this morning checking damage from yesterday big storm.

The city has been divided into 15 areas and inspectors from the City Streets and Water Services units are in the areas. They report problems to the incident centre where they are prioritised before City Council staff and contractors are directed to the sites. Most of the clear-up work will be in the south-east area of the city where flooding is worse. Slips and damaged trees were the main problems and were taking priority in the clean up. Power lines brought down brought further problems. The Heathcote River remains high and spilled over in Eastern Terrace. The Summit Road will be closed for some time because of slips. Evans Pass Road might be opened this weekend. Victoria Park remains closed, as does Dyers Pass Road between the Sign of the Takahe and Victoria Park. Wakefield Avenue, Sumner, is closed at Paisley Street, Clifton Terrace is closed, too. Mount Pleasant Road has only one lane operating. Other minor roads are closed, mainly because of fallen trees. Telephone calls about storm problems began at the City Council at 7.30am today and continued at a steady rate for the next three hours. A weather forecast says another front is due through Christchurch Sunday and Monday but it is not expected to bring heavy rain.

Trees down

Hundreds of trees have been brought down around the city. No estimate is available yet except the 400 calls to the Council's incident centre about them yesterday. By Monday a total might be clearer. Many trees are dangerous with broken branches held within the trees. The Parks Unit's asset manager, Richard Holland, said today that people should keep clear of broken trees and he said parents should not let children near trees. The Botanic Gardens is closed until Monday as well as all Port Hills reserves, including Victoria Park. The Groynes and South Brighton Domain are also closed until Monday. All other parks are open - including Hagley Park - but residents must show caution when using them. Mr Holland said people should keep clear of trees. Many large trees have been brought down, particularly willows. Gums, pines and poplar trees have also been badly affected. Three-quarters of a pine plantation in Bowenvale Avenue have been levelled.


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