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Lower Prince of Wales Park - Downpour Chaos

Page history last edited by ccomber@paradise.net.nz 10 years, 3 months ago


Downpour Chaos


by Gabriella D (aged 12) and Sascha H (aged 10)     



Mouths dangling open, hearts beating strong, the sight of our street     filled with dirty, muddy water. Completely predictable. This was not the first time that our street has been flooded. If you think that it was completely nature’s fault for flooding our neighbourhood, yet again, then you are wrong.



The flood water completely missing the drain.


After many complaints from the citizens of Mount Cook, the Wellington City Council came and ‘did up’ the area around Prince of Wales Park, to improve the unlikelihood of flooding again. Did it work? You know the answer.


They repaired the gravel, made a new gutter pathway and a new drain. I suppose they were waiting for an appreciation letter, or something along the lines of that. But did they get one? No. Why not? Firstly, the rain water pushed the gravel off the path, so there was just one huge gap; secondly, the gutter wasn’t functioning properly and not taking in enough water. And lastly, the new drain that they put in took absolutely no water from the flood. It only caught the water falling directly into it, as opposed to the majority of the rainwater. It was not in the right place, about a metre away, it was off by a long shot. So that was basically useless.


So, there we were, staring at this huge pool of water in our front garden. So deep, we couldn’t even see the ground. Calling it a ‘flood’ is an understatement. Our eyes absorbed the sight of all of the chaos. We treaded through the street; getting our clothes wet. So high up, above our ankles. All of the water was dashing down the street and the path leading up to the park. The water from the road and the path were colliding together, creating a massive explosion of water; which lasted for over an hour.


Any sign of the Wellington City Council rushing in to save the day? No.


Not being able to go back home and rest, because our parents were busy doing the council’s job, we just had to wait. But since we had nothing to do, we decided to put ourselves to use.


We all treaded through the ferocious water gushing past us, observing the debris of the heavy rainfall, floating very quickly along with the water.  We could hardly walk, but finally we made it.


Our eyes were greeted with the sight of the park, which was now one massive swimming pool; for fish. Our sight drifted along, seeing a fish being dragged in with the flood water. Unfortunately, its home- the river- had over flowed and it was probably going to die. Because eventually the water would drain away, leaving the fish to dry out and suffer. But lucky for the fish, we saved it from its watery grave. We contributed a lot for that fish, but not for the whole stream of fish; which was out of our hands. 


We all tried our best to co-operate and save all of the poor, helpless creatures survive this life-threatening flood. But of course, we couldn’t save them all. Lots of innocent creatures would have died then, because of the lack of working drain systems.


A couple of people from the neighbourhood did some volunteer work, clearing away weeds, so that the stream would flow, once again, in its usual way. Using up all of their time and energy, on a weekday evening.


Sascha holding the fish we saved


And so, after an hour and a bit, after most of the weeds had been cleared away, and the water was pretty much flowing usually, we all went to bed, exhausted, annoyed and angry that all of the work had been done for the city council, as opposed to vice versa. And just as our heads touched the pillow, and we were drifting off to dreamland, the Wellington City Council arrived.


Thanks to Jon, Alwyn, Amanda, and everyone else who contributed to the clearing up of the flood, using their own time and energy to help.


Footnote - This was a particularly busy night for the Council.  The same thing happened last year around this time, the neighbours had a good idea of what needed to be done immediately and wasted no time getting on with the job.


Thank you Gabriella and Sascha for this wonderful story.

February 2013





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