Third disaster in a year

Mandy Vicars (left) and Jill Jones in a Dunedin motel after being forced from their Long Beach...
Mandy Vicars (left) and Jill Jones in a Dunedin motel after being forced from their Long Beach cottage because of flooding. Photo by Jane Dawber.
It seems that, metaphorically at least, lightning really does strike more than once.

A Long Beach couple are again staying at a Dunedin motel after weathering their second natural disaster in a month and their third in a dramatic year.

Mandy Vicars and Jill Jones have been at the motel since Saturday, when rainwater ponding outside rose to a level of 7cm deep inside their Driver St home.

They had stayed at the motel just three weeks earlier, for about a week, after a lightning strike hit a transformer near Mihiwaka Rd and a power surge damaged the pump that worked their water and sewerage systems.

That same pump was damaged in May last year, when the Port Chalmers Volunteer Fire Brigade stopped floodwater from breaching their front door.

Then, they stayed at the motel for two weeks.

Ms Jones yesterday said the latest flood happened quickly.

Water ponding outside their house became knee-deep in the 20 minutes it took them to visit friends on nearby Beach Rd.

They piled their belongings on axle stands and outdoor furniture as the water rose - and prepared themselves for yet another trip to their by now usual temporary accommodation.

Ms Vicars said longtime residents told the couple they had never seen their property flood before last year.

That meant they had endured unprecedented flooding, twice.

Ms Vicars said about four or five other properties in the area were affected by flooding, and many more were affected by the power surge, but it did make them wonder, "What next?""It's at the stage where we have to wonder whether we should build a boat," she said.


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