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Agencies prepared in case of heavy rain

Friday 14 March 2014

Agencies prepared in case of heavy rain

Key agencies met this afternoon to finalise preparations ahead of forecast rain over the weekend.

Forecasters are now predicting a lower level of rainfall on Sunday morning than had previously been expected. Emergency response agencies will remain on stand-by and are ready to react if the rainfall intensifies.

Agencies involved in today’s meeting included: Christchurch City Council operations and welfare staff, Civil Defence, Police, Fire Service, the Army, Red Cross, Orion, Community and Public Health, the Canterbury District Health Board, and the Student Volunteer Army. Agencies have agreed to meet again on Sunday if the weather worsens and further coordination is required.

Sandbags

Sandbags are useful for addressing some localised flooding, for example to stop water flowing under a garage door or diverting water downhill. They don’t protect against water coming from under the house and through floorboards.

By midday Saturday, 22,000 filled sandbags are being made available at the following locations across the city where flooding is a known risk:

• Corner Speight Street/Aylesford Street

• Hills Road/Shirley Road shops – in the carpark

• Edward Avenue, St Albans

• Barrington Street

• Ferry Road at Woolston Park

• Corner Union Street/Seaview Terrace – Owles Terrace/Seaview Terrace, New Brighton

• Corner Martindales Road/Truscotts Road, Heathcote Valley

• Corner Marriner Street/ Esplanade, Sumner

• Burwood Park

Residents in the area can pick up the sandbags and have them on hand should flooding occur. If they are not needed this weekend, residents can store the sandbags in case of further events. The Council is not asking for the sandbags to be returned. Information on how best to use sandbags can be found at:

http://www.ccc.govt.nz/homeliving/civildefence/informationondisastershazards/flooding.aspx

or,

http://www.ses.sa.gov.au/site/community_safety/floodsafe/sandbagging.jsp

The Council has taken many calls from residents requesting sandbags where they believed they would be of use – this information has been used to help planning of locations for sandbags.

By midday tomorrow all stocks of sandbags will have been allocated.

Drain clearing

Council teams have been out across the city all week clearing drains and waterways, sweeping roads and clearing road sumps ahead of the weekend – this work has now been completed and crews will be on stand-by over the weekend, ready to respond if necessary.

Road closures

Should surface flooding occur on city roads, motorists are advised to stay away from flooded areas.

Bow waves created by cars and other vehicles driving through flooded streets can caused houses to flood. Do not drive through these areas unless it is absolutely necessary – if you must drive, please slow down.

The Christchurch Transport Operations Centre will be coordinating road closure information over the weekend – you can get the latest on closures atwww.transportforchristchurch.govt.nz

Stopbanks

Stopbanks have been checked and all are fine. Some additional height has been added to the stopbank at the New Brighton camping ground, which had to be evacuated during heavy rain last week.

Army/Volunteers

The army will be available over the weekend to assist with emergency response if required, as will the Student Volunteer Army.

Wastewater

Once again, residents are advised that wastewater is likely to mix with floodwaters and should stay out of contact with the water. If you do come into contact with flood waters you should wash your hands and wash any clothes.

Welfare

Welfare agencies are meeting late this afternoon to finalise planning ahead of the weekend. Welfare centres will be opened should they be needed in response to any flooding.

Almost 800 Neighbourhood Support coordinators have been alerted to the situation and are liaising directly with residents in their communities to ensure information is getting through.

The Council’s Strengthening Communities team has also been in touch with 100 community contacts across the city to ensure they are aware of the forecast weather and can pass information on to their communities.

More information

Any updates on the situation will be posted on the Council’s website www.ccc.govt.nz.

A regional Civil Defence update issued this afternoon (Friday 14 March) is available at http://ecan.govt.nz/news-and-notices/news/pages/cyclone-lusi-severe-weather.aspx

– ends –

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