17 Nov 2018

Dunedin rest home building a wall to stop future flooding

9:25 pm on 17 November 2018

A Dunedin rest home hit hard by two floods in three years is going to build a wall to stop a third from happening.

Flooding in Dunedin's Surrey Street in early June.

Flooding in Dunedin's Surrey Street in 2015 Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

The Radius Fulton home in Hillside Road has twice now had to evacuate its 93 residents during the rain.

The home's manager Robin Bowie said it was a relief to have some action taken.

"It's 93 people's homes, that's what it is. That's their home and that's devastating for them to have to move from their home and often it's been in the middle of the night under severe conditions.

"The first flood in 2015 was a 'once in 100 year' event - or so we thought - and after the repairs had taken place we thought that's great, that's it for 100 years. But unfortunately two years later we had a similar event.

"After that we knew this couldn't happen again and the owner of the building set to it to get engineers and sort a plan to ensure the building was protected."

The floodwall would go right around the perimeter and stand just over a metre high.

"It's about 1.3 metres tall, it's not going to look terrible like a great stark wall around us, part of the council requirement is to make sure that landscaping softens it.

"If the wall is not enough then it will go into the pumps and then there's storage tanks beneath the ground to hold wastewater."

Construction would begin in two weeks and would take between four to six months to complete, she said.

"There could be some issues around parking and I'll be meeting with families to discuss that but the works will be done in stages so it won't be all happening at once around the building.

"I can't see any major disruption to the residents at all."

It was unclear why two major floods had happened in the area recently, she said.

"A lot of people have some ideas about it being to do with so much more building going on, the infrastructure can't cope with the water - the wastewater and the stormwater.

"The council do have a plan to replace the drainage but that's going to take quite some time and the owners knew that we couldn't wait."

The Dunedin City Council had been very supportive, she said.

"They've made it an easier process to get consents and have been working with the owners of the building."

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