Has anyone seen our loo?

Dunedin Model Aero Club president Jeff Smart in the boggy, flood-damaged club grounds near Outram...
Dunedin Model Aero Club president Jeff Smart in the boggy, flood-damaged club grounds near Outram last week. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The Dunedin Model Aero Club still has nothing to go on in the case of a long-drop toilet which was washed away in recent flooding.

Club president Jeff Smart said the club had leased the 2ha block in School Rd, Outram since the 1980s.

The site was flooded last month and club property was washed away, including a big wooden structure which housed a long-drop toilet, newly painted with new doors,

``It was a bloody nice toilet and it was chained down to waratahs.''

A neighbouring farmer had returned a couple of barbecue tables which had floated off the block, but the whereabouts of the toilet remained a mystery.

``Nobody's seen it - it's a shame.''

The club's 70 members use the site to fly model aeroplanes and helicopters.

In a flood in July last year, the floodwater was more than 1m above two shipping containers on the block.

Although the floodwater was lower last month, it must have been flowing faster because it caused more damage to club property, Mr Smart said.

Both containers moved and a lean-to attached to a container was smashed.

Model aeroplanes hung high in a container were covered in mud and ``broken to bits''.

A barbecue the club bought last year to replace its flood-damaged predecessor had suffered a similar fate and was damaged beyond repair.

``It annoys you.''

The club was not insured because it could not get any company to provide cover.

The club had investigated putting the containers on stilts but the cost was prohibitive.

Ironically, the Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation had given the club $3000 to buy a new ride-on lawnmower to mow the block and runways.

It would be some time before the sodden grass could be mown.

The club accepted the block was in a flood zone but it had no plans to move, Mr Smart said.

The site was ideal as it had no residential neighbours to annoy with the noise it created and was in controlled airspace.

He hoped Otago Regional Council and Dunedin City Council staff would approach the club to find ways to reduce the impact of future flooding.

Nearby Dunedin Airport was soaked by 158mm of rain last month, making it the wettest November at the weather station since records began in 1962, according to Niwa data.


SHAWN.MCAVINUE @thestar.co.nz

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