Council cleans up after wet and windy weather

Council staff and contractors are working quickly throughout the city, dealing with the fallout from wet and windy weather during the past few days.

Earlier this week, high rainfall followed by wild winds compromised trees in Queens Park, while surface flooding has resulted in contractors needing to pump floodwaters from private properties in Otatara, and from part of Turnbull Thomson reserve near Lindisfarne Street.

Interim Parks and Recreation Manager Michele Frey said the Queens Park play area was partially underwater and has had to be cordoned off until the waters recede.

“Huge amounts of rain followed by incredibly strong winds have also compromised or entirely brought down some large trees in Queens Park,” Ms Frey said.

“We have staff and contractors working to clear the trees which have fallen, or in some cases we’re having to remove trees which haven’t been brought down, but their root systems have been compromised by the water saturating the ground beneath them.

“Once the ground is wet and soft, high winds can result in the trees simply being toppled over as the roots can’t maintain grip in the soil anymore.”

Ms Frey said any trees which have had to be removed will be replaced with new plantings and beautification plans for the area.

The Cacti House at the Winter Gardens in Queens Park has been temporarily closed after glass panels shifted in the wind.

Work to repair and make the glass panels safe again is expected to take a few days, weather permitting, Ms Frey said.

“Our message to anyone visiting our parks and reserves throughout the city, Otatara, and Bluff, is to take care and be mindful of any potential hazards that might have resulted from the recent weather events,” she said.

“Please be patient if there are contractors out working and follow their instructions or signs – this is for your safety and theirs.”

Meanwhile, Roading Manager Russell Pearson said contaminated floodwater at Turnbull Thomson park, near Lindisfarne Street, should be pumped away soon.

“We asked on Monday that people stay away from the area when we discovered that the water was contaminated by sewage overflow. Yesterday, our contractors were able to pump about half of the water away, and we’re hoping this process will be completed within days,” Mr Pearson said.

“We will then undertake any clean up of the area required, which initially was about 100 metres long and 100 metres wide, to make sure there is no residual contamination.

“In Otatara, there are some areas and properties where water hasn’t receded yet. Our staff and contractors have prioritised any potential contamination issues first, and have been working directly with affected property owners,” Mr Pearson said.

Should members of the public have concerns about floodwaters or weather-related issues like blocked stormwater drains or trees falling in public parks or reserves, they should contact Council on (03) 2111777. If it’s an emergency, they should call 111.