State of emergency lifted after Christchurch floods

By Leo Horgan

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has this afternoon lifted the State of Emergency around flooding in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

"The immediate dangers posed by significant rainfall and abnormally high tides are now behind us. We haven't had any rainfall since Saturday and we know the river levels and storage basins are gradually and continuously dropping," says Mayor Dalziel.

"The low-pressure system that was affecting tidal levels has now passed, and while they remain high, they are now within normal tidal ranges.

"Although we are transitioning into a recovery period, we are still monitoring river levels, tides and weather forecasts very closely, to ensure we are ready to react if we need to.

"The forecast of further rain from this Thursday means the situation is still changeable, but we are working hard to minimise any impacts by clearing flood debris from rivers, sumps and storm-water grates, and keeping pumps deployed in Southshore and Flockton."

Clean-up programme

Christchurch City Council staff and contractors today began a coordinated flood clean-up programme. The bulk of work in worst-affected areas is expected to be completed by the end of tomorrow (Wednesday). This includes street sweeping, sump cleaning and temporary pothole repairs.

As waters recede and roads dry out, crews are using vehicle-mounted mechanical brooms to sweep silt and debris from flood-affected roads. Crews are also visiting properties worst affected by sewage contamination to remove any waste.

Council Park Rangers will this Saturday coordinate a group from the Student Volunteer Army to collect rubbish and clear silt from pathways in public spaces. The cleared-away silt piles will then be removed by contractors.

Flood debris on private properties

Residents who have had silt or debris deposited onto their properties by flooding should contact their insurer or landlord. For general health and safety advice about handling flood debris, residents can contact Community and Public Health by phoning 03 364 1777.