THE manager of a Fernhill hotel is counting his blessings a ruptured water main, which caused havoc in the area, didn’t do more damage.

Emergency services were called to Fernhill Rd about 1.20pm on Monday after the burst main caused water to flood a lower carpark at Heritage Hotel, rush down the road to One Mile Reserve and, separately, on to Glenorchy Rd, before a mudslide followed there.

The force of water also cracked asphalt on the road outside the Heritage, and caused foundations to subside.

Queenstown council contractors worked through Monday night to repair the damage to the road, managing to get it open again early Tuesday.

Heritage GM Kevin Kluts tells Mountain Scene he was in ‘‘total disbelief’’ when it happened.

‘‘Somebody said to me, ‘have we got any sandbags?’

‘‘I’m going, ‘when do we ever need sandbags?’’’

The flooding was isolated to a basement carpark — he estimates about a metre of water accumulated there before contractors managed to
slow the flow.

‘‘It was like a bathtub, it just filled up.

‘‘If they [didn’t] cut that water off when they did and let it go for another half-hour or so, my goodness, I don’t know what it would’ve looked like.

‘‘We’re lucky.’’

Several cars were shifted quick-smart from the carpark, which is also home to air conditioning units, heat pumps, an elevator sump and the like.

Kluts turned power off to the Lakeside wing, and re located the 15 or so guests staying there, all of whom were ‘‘very understanding’’, into available rooms in the hotel’s two other wings.

Meantime, delegates at a conference ‘‘didn’t even know it was happening’’, he says.

Following a major cleanup, which largely involves removing gravel and silt, Kluts says he’s getting specialists in to check the plant in the basement to see if there’s any water damage.

Until it’s ‘‘100% clear’’, the 45 rooms in that wing will remain vacant.

‘‘Luckily our mains and things like that were higher up, on another floor.

‘‘Worst-case scenario is we may have to replace the AC units.

‘‘I haven’t looked at the costings yet, but that’s an insurance situation for us, that we’ll look at.’’

All going well, he’s hoping to get the Lakeview wing open again this coming week.

He’s counting his blessings, though, and is extremely grateful to the volunteer fire crews who spent a couple of hours pumping water out of
the carpark.

‘‘It could have been a lot worse,’’ he says.

‘‘It was a bit of a shock, but in my opinion it’s nobody’s fault — these things happen.’’

[email protected]

- Advertisement -