Residents keen for long-term flooding fix

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JACK CONROY

A Lawrence cafe owner whose kitchen was affected by minor flooding last week says improvements by the Clutha District Council after the July 2017 flood had prevented much worse damage.

“To their credit, that really improved the situation this time,” owner Jim Merrill said.

After major flooding in Lawrence in July last year, some businesses in Ross Pl were badly affected, most notably the Wild Walnut Cafe.

Mr Merrill said the cafe was the lowest building on the street “so naturally much of the water came to us”.

This year had been “not as drastic. There was just some surface water in the kitchen.”

He attributed the improvement to the council clearing out Hospital Creek that ran behind the cafe.

A gravel footpath scoured by last week’s flooding in the town has been repaired, but a resident is wondering when a permanent solution will be found.

“We can drive in and out again now,” resident Barbara Kerr said on Monday after repairs were made to the footpath outside her home near the corner of Harrington St and the Lawrence-Waitahuna Highway.

Mrs Kerr said SouthRoads workers had filled in the hole in front of her driveway with gravel.

However, this was how the scoured path was remedied after last year’s floods, and the gravel had been swept away by the water last week.

Residents had not received any indication of how long the wait would be for a more permanent solution.

Mayor Bryan Cadogan and CDC service delivery group manager Jules Witt visited Lawrence residents last Thursday.

Mr Witt said the flooding had been caused by blocked drains up the road.

“‘Water that should go into them is being pushed across the road and ending up here,” he told residents at the time.

Mr Cadogan said, in the long term, a concrete footpath would prevent future scouring.

“This is not a two-minute fix . but it’s a moral responsibility for us to help here as we’ve promised,” he said.