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Wellington's Owhiro Stream bursts banks

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017

Homes were flooded and chickens died as heavy rain turned Owhiro Stream into a torrent on Wednesday night.

More than 50 people people in the southern Wellington suburb were evacuated from their homes as the normally low-running stream burst its banks, becoming three metres wider than normal.

The residents returned to their homes on Thursday morning.

NZME reported that Owhiro Community Garden volunteer worker Rangi Wickliffe was feeling guilty on Thursday morning after discovering nine of the 12 chickens he had locked away the previous evening had been washed away in the flood.

"I actually locked them in there because the neighbours complain about the noise," he said.

The gardens themselves sustained significant damage.

A bridge leading to the garden that had stood for nearly 20 years was destroyed, as nearly 40mm of rain fell from 8pm Wednesday till lunchtime Thursday.

Gardens chief executive Mark Forsyth said about 250 people use the community gardens, and he would now have to petition Wellington City Council to replace the bridge urgently, or at least put a temporary replacement in.

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