Flood calls for repair
Widespread flooding last week highlighted the desperate need for Porirua City Council’s planned $4 million stormwater upgrades.
A block of Titahi Bay shops on Whitehouse Rd were an inch under water last Tuesday morning after a torrential downpour on Monday night dumped 35 millilitres of water on the city.
Titahi Bay Four Square owner Ketan Kansera called the Titahi Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade in to help suck up the flood which destroyed a lot of stock on low shelves and in a storeroom.
Whitehouse Superette owner Priyanka Phar, who lives above her shop, worked from 11.30pm until 3am to clear the flooding, which occurs about five times a year, she said.
The flooding is caused by a drain behind the Four Square, which blocks and overflows during heavy rain.
The council’s manager of waste and water services John Gibbs said Titahi Bay is a priority in the council’s stormwater upgrades, a proposed $4m, 10-year project.
Titahi Bay is hit particularly hard by heavy rain because so much land is taken up by ‘‘infill housing’’ – subdivisions which create hard surfaces like paving where water can no longer drain away, Mr Gibbs said.
However, the whole of Porirua suffers from overstressed drainage never designed to deal with today’s population levels, and climate change is increasing the frequency of heavy rainstorms, he said.
Flooding hotspots on Toms Rd and Jillett St are scheduled to be fixed in July, Mr Gibbs said.
Where drains are on private property, as in the Titahi Bay Four Square, the council encourages owners to repair their drains, particularly if private drains cause council waterways to overflow.
The council will repair a sump lying above the Four Square’s drain which contributes to the problems there, Mr Gibbs said.
Meanwhile, Mary Potter Hospice in Prosser St, Elsdon suffered a $100,000 destruction of summer stock when the roof of its warehouse and shop partially collapsed. Hundreds of boxes of summer clothes had to be thrown out after being soaked with water and covered with debris, manager Lynn Blann said.
The shop is insured and Mrs Blann hopes donations will replace the lost stock before spring.
‘‘I’m sure people will come to the party over that,’’ she says.
Water woes: Titahi Bay Four Square owner Ketan Kansera was left mopping up an inch of water after his shop flooded last Monday night.