Housing is a problem for Nelsonians forced from their homes

Andrea Warn is one of many Nelsonians unable to return home after devastating floods and slides last week.

One such landslide happened behind Warn’s family home in central Nelson.

On Thursday, her neighbors helped protect the property with plywood.

While her home was unharmed, the property itself was tagged red.

Warn hopes the engineers will have a solution.

“Our children belong to this neighborhood and this community, so we would be devastated if we had to leave,” she told 1News.

There are 108 properties that have been labeled yellow so far, with another 15 getting a red.

READ MORE: House badly damaged after hill collapse in Nelson

As the number of displaced people in Nelson grows, the next concern is what to do with them. The rental market is tight, so the council is considering options.

Warn and his family are currently between homes.

“My kids had to go to my sisters because we could only get a studio room, and after that we’ll be going to a friend’s Airbnb.”

Road traffic also remains a problem.

Transport agency Waka Kotahi NZ said State Highway 6 between Nelson and Blenheim and SH63 through the Wairau Valley will not open until next week.

Mark Owen, acting national director of maintenance and operations, says safety and continuous damage assessment means there will be no quick fix.

“The scale of damage to highways and local roads is enormous. They cannot be repaired overnight. Restoring these roads is going to take a long time and an immense amount of effort and planning. Like our road crews continue this colossal task, we ask for your patience and understanding.”

That means Richard Ussher of Cable Bay Adventure Park needs to bring in his chef from Blenheim.

“We have functions and we’re reopening for the weekend, so he hops on a plane to Blenheim and we fly him across here.”

Congestion around Nelson remains, with closures on State Highway 6 via Rocks Rd as well.

About John McTaggart

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