Have flood les­sons been learnt?


Many ar­eas fared worse in the May 5 flood than they did on May 14, 2015, when Porirua was hit by an as­ton­ish­ing del­uge.

Shailesh Pa­tel said his Ti­tahi Bay store suf­fered more this time and blamed road­works in Di­mock St.

‘‘They cov­ered the drains to stop mud get­ting in there,’’ he said. ‘‘The water had nowhere to go.’’

Pa­tel said road work­ers had placed mesh over the drain grates, pre­vent­ing the flood water from drain­ing prop­erly.

He said the drains were func­tion­ing for the 2015 flood, but this time the road turned into a river and raced through his shop.

Thou­sands of dol­lars worth of stock was de­stroyed.

Liz Kelly, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Whanau Cen­tre in Can­nons Creek, said her staff were ready when the heav­ens opened this time.

‘‘We knew what was hap­pen­ing be­cause of last year,’’ she said.

‘‘We turned ta­bles up­side down to di­vert the water into the drains and away from the build­ing.’’

Kelly said she was con­cerned the foot­paths outside her build­ing were con­tribut­ing to the flood­ing prob­lem.

‘‘The coun­cil beau­ti­fied the Can­nons Creek shop­ping area by paving the foot­path, but the foot­path has be­come a dam.

‘‘Sur­face water isn’t run­ning into drains, it’s com­ing into our build­ing.’’

She said the coun­cil had not rec­ti­fied the prob­lem af­ter last May’s flood­ing.

‘‘I know they can’t con­trol the rain, but when things aren’t fixed the prob­lem is ex­ac­er­bated.’’

Alex van Paassen, from Welling­ton Water, said the rain that fell on May 5 was any­thing but a rea­son­able amount that drains could cope with.

‘‘To build in­fra­struc­ture to cope with storms of that in­ten­sity would cost bil­lions of dol­lars,’’ he said.

‘‘The level of in­fra­struc­ture re­quired to cope with 1-in-100year-type events would come back to ratepay­ers.’’

Van Paassen said although the sight of heav­ily flooded roads could be alarm­ing, it was what was meant to hap­pen. ‘‘Roads be­come sec­ondary flow paths to carry water away from homes.’’

Di­mock St, Ti­tahi Bay, was hit hard by the May 5 flood.

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