13 Mar 2014

Christchurch 'not ready for another storm'

5:02 pm on 13 March 2014

Some Christchurch residents say the city - still recovering from last week's storm, which flooded 100 properties - is not prepared for another big storm.

Parts of River Rd in Avonside submerged during last week's flood.

Parts of River Rd in Avonside submerged during last week's flood. Photo: RNZ

MetService and the Ministry of Civil Defence are closely monitoring tropical cyclone Lusi, which is moving south from Vanuatu and is forecast to bring severe gales and heavy rain to many areas of New Zealand from Friday.

MetService says it could reach the upper South Island on Sunday and most places, including the east coast of the South Island, will feel its effects.

Lyttelton resident Julia Sugarman says she will be knocking on council doors on Thursday asking for help, as they are still waiting for issues from last week to be resolved.

Ms Sugarman says there has been almost no communication from council about this weekend and they desperately need sandbags before something happens.

"Help us out first instead of just waiting till there's disaster happening," she says. "Our problem last week was that when it was happening we were calling for almost 12 hours before we got sandbags and anyone showed up to help."

'The water table's far too high'

Mairehau resident Julie Cairns says residents have heard nothing from the council.

"They always said that they'd come to us with plenty of warning but my understanding is at the moment they don't want to even scare people unnecessarily," she says.

"I think they will try and do the sandbags but I think it's past sandbag time. The water table's far too high - it's not going to make much difference at all."

However, mayor Lianne Dalziel says the city's stormwater and drainage systems have already been checked ahead of the possible deluge, emergency responses are being put in place and sandbags will be made available in areas that are a known flood risk.

She says the army will be on standby from midday on Friday and they will have sandbags available which will add to the stock that's available more generally.

The council and response agencies met on Thursday and will meet again on Friday to finalise preparations.