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Christchurch Civil Defence update 4pm

Civil Defence update 4pm

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey is advising anyone still living in properties flooded above floor level to leave as soon as possible and to stay away.

So far, 30 properties have been identified as having been flooded above floor level, while a further 27 have been affected with flooding above foundation level.

"There are significant health and safety risks associated with living in badly flood-affected properties, particularly for families with children," says Dr Humphrey.

"Wiring and appliances should be checked by a qualified electrician before moving back in. Flood-damaged carpets and other soft furnishings are likely to be a hazard, as they will be contaminated with sewage. Contact your insurer about flood-damaged items before disposing of them. Mould is likely to get worse until a house has been properly treated, so it is important people stay out of their house to avoid respiratory problems until the mould is treated and the house dried out properly.

"I strongly advise anyone still living in a property that has been flooded above floor level to stay out of the property until it has been properly checked and deemed safe to live in. Anyone already experiencing health problems should contact their GP for advice," adds Dr Humphrey.

Civil Defence response teams made up of building inspectors, engineers and welfare officers are this afternoon door-knocking those residents still living in badly flood-affected properties to assess their needs and to provide them with information about health and safety risks.

In addition, flood-affected residents who have registered with Civil Defence are being contacted by phone.

The Christchurch Civil Defence controller has advised the State of Emergency will remain in place today.

Civil Defence is waiting to assess any impact from the next high tide, which is due at 5.08pm, with the high water level expected to occur about 6.30pm.

It is anticipated there will be some further flooding in areas previously affected. By the time any impact is known it will be night time, so the State of Emergency will be reassessed tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

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