Val worries burst of rain will flood street

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Photo: Val Mitchell surveys the clogged and overgrown stormwater ditch over the road from her home on Melcombe Street.

By Mick Jensen

Melcombe Street resident Val Mitchell is concerned that another heavy rain event like the one that struck Ashburton in July will again cause widespread flooding and she wants answers about the state and role of the stormwater channel near her home.

Mrs Mitchell said the July flood had come within a whisker of getting into her home and she was nervous that next time she might not be so lucky.

She had spoken to both Ashburton council and Environment Canterbury (ECan) about the clogged stormwater ditch over the road from her home and both had “passed the buck” and referred her to the other.

“I really don’t want to see all that water coming up to my home again.

“I voiced my concerns to the council before the big July flooding and I spoke to them again after it, but nobody has come back to reassure me – and I am a bit worried.”

Mrs Mitchell said the area around her home had been like a lake during the heavy rain incident, with water flooding roads nearby, including Lagmhor Road and State Highway 1.

“I was lucky that someone helped me out with sand bagging and that the water was kept at bay,”she said.

She said her neighbour, who had lived on the street longer than she had, had never seen it so bad, although flooding in the area had not been uncommon over the years.

“I don’t growl for nothing – I just want some answers from somebody.”

Ashburton council group manager service delivery Neil McCann said council mowed the grass either side of the Melcombe Street drain, but the upkeep of the ditch was ECan’s responsibility.

ECan had been notified of clogging in the ditch by council’s open spaces team, he said.

A number of areas of the town had been identified as having flooding issues that needed to be addressed further and that area was one of them, said Mr McCann.