Thursday, 10 March 2011

End of Cordoned and Curfewed life

Today we have begun the transition back to being full members of society.  We are slowly being uncordoned!  After living in highly protected seclusion for 2 weeks, protected by the NZ and Singapore Armies and the NZ and Australia Police, we are transitioning back to having members of the public driving past the Motel!
 Just a line of orange cones but the meaning is much deeper.
(this was the day all car movements in/out were prohibited)

At 8am, this morning (10 March), Zone 3 was opened to residents and business owners.  Everyone has 24 hours to get their properties/businesses secure before the area is opened to all, the good, the bad and the ugly, from 8am Friday.
Returning residents / business owners being checked out at the cordon Thurs morning.

But wait! We’ve been here all along! Hundreds, possibly thousands of people have been living in the Zone 3 area since the quake.  It’s strange to hear the news reports that residents are going to be let back into the Zone! Strange but….whatever.
On the way back from the cordon I smelt gas which resulted in two fire trucks and the road being closed!

We also look forward to being un-curfewed from 6am Friday morning!
Had to go up to the Cordon last night so took a last pic.

We have been lucky, we lost water for 4 days or so and gas for 6 days, but we have been able to offer a place to sleep for rescue and recovery personal right through from 222.  We never asked for permission to operate within the cordon, nor did we receive it, we just mucked in and did it.  We’d like to say thanks to the powers at be, whoever they are, for allowing the status-quo to prevail.  The 4 motels within the cordoned area provide around 60 rooms, making a valuable contribution in a town where accommodation is in short supply.  It was a case of give and take, we followed the cordon rules and made sure our guests knew the rules, and the cordon personal allowed our guests in and out.  While there were a few difficult situations (see here for one example), in general we do have to say a big thanks to those Police and Army personal manning them over the last 18 days.
Things we won't be able to do on Colombo St when the Cordon is removed.

We are looking forward to being un-cordoned and un-curfewed!  It’s gonna be nice going out without having to think about how to get back.  It’s gonna be nice being able to go out 24 hrs a day.  It’s gonna be nice to not have to plan the day around being back home at 6pm and not being allowed out after that.  It’s gonna be nice not having to worry about whether our guests can all get back to us!  Yes, its gonna be nice, its gonna be nice.
The New Cordon, 2 pin bowling anyone?

The new cordon at the edge of the Red Zone will be on the city side of Salisbury St.  This makes the cordon actually closer to us than it is now! But, this time we’ll be on the outside, and we are looking forward to that!

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