Flood water pumped on to field put properties at risk:residents

Buildup of water. . . A photograph taken from the back of a Robertson St shows the St Peters College tennis court and part of the rugby fields under water on Thursday morning. The stream of water that ran alongside the field is in the foreground. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Surface flooding pumped on to the St Peter’s College field became a stream that flooded Robertson St properties, residents say.

A Robertson St resident, who did not wish to be named, said Gore District Council staff pumped water from Kakapo St on to the rugby fields on Thursday.

‘‘The whole paddock was just about covered in water by the end of it.’’

On Thursday morning she heard a sound that reminded her of the Leith River in Dunedin when it was in flood.

‘‘I wondered what the noise was.’’

When she went out to investigate, water was rushing down the side of the St Peter’s rugby fields towards the school.

‘‘If they hadn’t pumped the water on to St Peter’s it wouldn’t have happened.’’

The water then started seeping under fences on the east side of the rugby fields, she said.

While the water entered her garages, it did not reach her house.

‘‘It got as high as it could get without flooding.’’

On Friday Gore District Mayor Ben Bell visited the resident and offered help to remove the spoiled contents of the garages.

Council communications and customer support general manager Sonia Gerken said the water was pumped on to the St Peter’s field so it could access a drain that ran between the field and Robertson St houses.

‘‘Unfortunately that drain was full, which was why there was an overflow.

‘‘To be fair, everything in the network was swamped at the time.’’

Customer support took about 400 calls on Thursday about flooding and teams delivered sandbags as fast as they were being filled, she said.