Council's flood response 'pathetic'

By Eileen Goodwin, Chris Morris

Traffic displaces water, making wake waves on flooded Gordon Rd on Saturday. Photos / Peter McIntosh and Jane Dawber
Traffic displaces water, making wake waves on flooded Gordon Rd on Saturday. Photos / Peter McIntosh and Jane Dawber

A community board member has criticised the "pathetic" response to a flash flood in Mosgiel that caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to shops on Saturday.

However, Dunedin City Council staff said problems with stormwater pipes in the area were well known and plans were already being drawn up to fix them.

Water poured in to about a dozen shops after a downpour about 1.30pm.

Shopowners used brooms to sweep back the water which entered some businesses, damaging carpet and displays. Sandbags hastily deployed by Mitre 10 staff limited the damage.

Mosgiel Taieri Community Board member Martin Dillon said Mosgiel was lucky it had Mitre 10 staff and their public spirit because it was let down by the Dunedin City Council's contractor Fulton Hogan.

He estimated there was more than 25mm of rain in a very short time, causing between $10,000 and $15,000 in damage, mainly to carpets in shops.

It appeared only two Fulton Hogan contractors attended the flood.

"The big problem is there has been no response. It's just pathetic."

However, council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring said problems with inadequate stormwater pipes in the area were already well known and the council was already planning to upgrade them.

"The stormwater pipes haven't got the capacity to deal with this sort of event. That has actually been known for some time," he said.

Mr Standring said Fulton Hogan contractors were not responsible for the stormwater pipes, but were charged with keeping mud tanks clear of debris, and they had been "very clean".

- Otago Daily Times

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