Rolling up our sleeves

Slip safety . . . Otago Peninsula Community Board chairman Paul Pope stands by the "road closed" sign north of Otakou. While the road to Otakou is accessible to residents, the road north of the peninsula settlement is blocked off. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

Dunedin communities have demonstrated their resilience after wild weather caused flooding, slips and road closures around the city and surrounding areas at the weekend.

Although forecasters had been predicting the high rainfall, the flooding that occurred on the Taieri was the second-worst on record, the Otago Regional Council said.

Cautious conditions . . . A car drives past a slip on Harington Point Rd, south of Otakou, on Tuesday afternoon. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

More than 130 properties were evacuated on Friday evening and in the early hours of Saturday, mainly in Henley, the lower part of Outram, and other parts of the Taieri Plain and Mosgiel.

Ravenswood Rd in St Clair was also evacuated after a slip occurred, but all residents had since returned to their homes, Civil Defence said.

Some residents were still out of their homes along the Otago Peninsula and on the Taieri Plain.

Mosgiel Taieri Community Board chairwoman Sarah Nitis said Dukes Rd and Riccarton Rd were two badly affected areas.

Both roads were in the path of the Gordon Rd spillway.

Rainfall in Mosgiel in the 24 hours to noon on Saturday was recorded at 160mm.

In Musselburgh it was 93mm.

Civil Defence lifted the state of emergency on Monday morning, and the focus has now turned to recovery.

Residents only . . . The road to Aramoana remains closed to all but residents this week. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

There are more than 25 slips on roads across the city, many of them on the Otago Peninsula.

Slips were also a significant problem in West Harbour, blocking roads and cutting off all access to Port Chalmers for a time.

West Harbour Community Board member Francisca Griffin inspected the area with Port Chalmers Senior Constable Steve Tvrdeic on Saturday and found dozens of slips and roads awash with water.

“Burkes Dr was completely under water for a while. It was incredible,” Ms Griffin said.

“And we found at least 20 slips, including two major ones on Aramoana Rd,” she said.

Some residents had lucky escapes, when slips went through their properties but missed their homes, she said.

Washout . . . Logan Park covered in water on Saturday afternoon. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

The community had pulled together to help each other out, including clearing small slips and coming together on Sunday to help a homeowner in Blanket Bay deal with “mud up to the windows”.

“That willingness to pull together is one of the things that makes West Harbour such a wonderful area,” Ms Griffin said.

Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall said the area had “got off very luckily” with only a few garages flooded and a landslip which came down at Ocean View affecting some residents.

Several slips had cut off townships along the Otago Peninsula, community board chairman Paul Pope said.

However, Portobello-Harington Point Rd had been cleared as far as Otakou and the affected communities had been banding together, he said.


Clearing up . . . A digger continues clearing a slip on Weir Rd on the Otago Peninsula on Tuesday afternoon. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

Information about road closures can be accessed on the Dunedin City Council website.

Sandbags were collected from South Dunedin yesterday, in Mosgiel today (Friday) and Saturday and in Outram on Saturday.

The council requests all sandbags be on the roadside by 7.30am on the collection day.
The rain affected many sports. Junior and club rugby, premier hockey and football matches were cancelled or rescheduled.

Flooded . . . While a pump arrived at Otakou on Monday afternoon, resident’s houses were still underwater by Tuesday afternoon. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

Premier rugby semifinal matches were played on Sunday and Dunedin Netball cancelled or rescheduled its Saturday competitions.

Even indoor sports were affected, as the under-15 national basketball tournament games were either cancelled or moved to John McGlashan College, due to a leaking roof at the Edgar Centre.

Golf clubs around Dunedin were closed on Saturday and most remained closed until earlier in the week.

DCC sports grounds remain closed until their conditions can be assessed.

A public meeting about the flood was held in Mosgiel on Wednesday night, after The Star‘s deadline.