Residents Can Help Prevent Flooding

24 May 2010

Serious flooding can be prevented by the simple neighbourly act of removing rubbish or leaves from roadside drains.

That's the advice from the Wellington City Council - as heavy rains are forecast for the Wellington region this week.

Mike Mendonca, Manager of the Council's CitiOperations unit - which helps maintain the city's drainage network - says rain is expected in the city over the next few days with some heavy falls forecast for tomorrow.

"Although it doesn't look as though it will be as heavy in Wellington as in other areas, this is a friendly reminder to residents that autumn leaves have been falling and the heavy rain forecast could end up blocking drains and flooding roads to the extent that local authorities and emergency services could need a hand.

"There are about 12,000 roadside drains in Wellington city. My advice is that residents should take the time to make sure roadside drains near their homes are not covered over by any leaves or debris - or blocked by things like plastic bottles or plastic bags. Doing this could save some serious heartache for you and your neighbours."

Mr Mendonca also says if residents see water ponding around a blocked sump, then all it may take is "wet feet and a bit of poking with a stick" to get rid of surface flooding.

"Residents should, obviously, be cautious about their safety. If the water looks deep - or if the situation is otherwise hazardous - it's best to steer clear and instead call the Council on (04) 499 4444 and we'll get someone out to fix it."