Plea to coun­cil to re­place car

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FALLON

A great grand­mother left high and dry af­ter the Porirua flood on May 5 wants the coun­cil to cough up for a new car.

Mau­reen Clune’s unin­sured car was writ­ten off af­ter she drove it through a flooded street and she said she held Porirua City Coun­cil re­spon­si­ble.

‘‘They didn’t clear the blocked drains, which is why the road flooded.’’

Ge­off Mar­shall, the coun­cil road­ing man­ager, said a re­place­ment car would not be of­fered to Clune.

‘‘It’s un­for­tu­nate that the res­i­dent chose to drive through waisthigh flood wa­ters, caus­ing the dam­age to the car.

‘‘If in­surance is un­avail­able, the coun­cil could not jus­tify us­ing ratepayer funds to re­place the car.’’

Clune, 63, said she be­came trapped in her car af­ter she fol­lowed two other ve­hi­cles through wa­ter in War­spite Ave in Wai­tan­girua.

‘‘I was sit­ting in filthy wa­ter up to my waist.’’

Clunes said she waited in freez­ing wa­ter con­tam­i­nated by sewage for more than an hour un­til res­cued by coun­cil staff.

She said af­ter her car was pulled out of the wa­ter, coun­cil work­ers lifted the grates of nearby drains and the wa­ter im­me­di­ately dis­ap­peared.

‘‘It was like pulling the plug out of a bath­tub.’’

Clune said the blocked drains were the rea­son her Ford Fal­con was de­stroyed and she wanted the coun­cil to give her a car. ‘‘I don’t want a brand new one – just an old bomb. They could give me an old one off their lot.’’

She said she ap­proached the coun­cil, but was told the flood­ing was an act of God, some­thing she did not ac­cept.

Her in­surance lapsed af­ter she lost her job and she said without a car her in­de­pen­dence had suf­fered.

She said a hip in­jury af­fected her mo­bil­ity and she didn’t want to use public trans­port be­cause her daugh­ter died as a re­sult of be­ing hit by a bus in 1997.

‘‘I’ve been dealt some rough blows, I don’t know what I’ve done to de­serve it.’’

Mar­shall said the coun­cil had a reg­u­lar main­te­nance pro­gramme for sump clean­ing to en­sure wa­ter ran away eas­ily.

‘‘This is done at least twice a year in ar­eas sus­cep­ti­ble to flood­ing or where sumps be­come blocked,’’ he said.

Mau­reen Clune wants Porirua City Coun­cil to re­place her unin­sured car.

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