‘Such a relief’: rest-home celebrates refurbishment after flood

Mother and daughter Lyn Waugh and Doreen Spavin (95) take part in a commemoration of the February...
Mother and daughter Lyn Waugh and Doreen Spavin (95) take part in a commemoration of the February 1 floods last year, which led to the evacuation of 90 residents at the Radius Fulton rest-home, including Mrs Spavin. Photo: Linda Robertson
For five weeks Lyn Waugh slept on a stretcher at the end of her 95-year-old mother’s bed just in case she needed help during middle of the night.

Her mother Doreen Spavin was one of the 90 residents evacuated from Radius Fulton when wastewater flooded the South Dunedin care home in Hillside Rd.

Yesterday, residents and their families along with staff gathered to celebrate the facility’s refurbishment following the flood and thank all those involved with the evacuation and the aftermath a year later.

Some residents were sent to facilities as far away as Invercargill and Christchurch, while others were taken in by their families.

There were tears from both staff and residents when they were allowed to return more than a month later.

"It’s such a relief to be able to sit here now with the work going on outside and what’s already been done and be confident the building can cope with those downpours we get now," Ms Waugh said.

Cleaning up after another concrete pour on the 2m-high flood wall being built around the Radius...
Cleaning up after another concrete pour on the 2m-high flood wall being built around the Radius Fulton care home in South Dunedin are Naylor Love carpenter Nic Brice (left) and site manager Jarrod Graham. Photo: Linda Robertson
While inside residents listened to speeches from  Mayor Dave Cull and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dick Tayler, outside work continued on the 2m-high block wall and ditch being built as part of significant flood protection scheme.

Site manager Jarrod Graham said the project had been designed so the site could withstand significant flooding and was expected to be completed in May.

Care home manager Robin Bowie said it felt like a new beginning for both the staff and residents and once the flood protection work had finished, the outside of the facility would be repainted.

"When it rains now there’s not that anxiety that was there before, which is just fantastic."

The flood protection was a significant investment by the building’s owner, which showed their devotion to South Dunedin and the residents, Mrs Bowie said.

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