12 Jun 2014

Bad weather continues in North Island

7:57 pm on 12 June 2014

Bad weather continues to batter parts of the North Island. Strong winds and heavy rain has been causing problems in the Coromandel-Thames district, as well as the Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay regions.

Boating on what is usually a rugby field in Greerton Marist rugby club, Tauranga.

Boating on what is usually a rugby field in Greerton Marist rugby club, Tauranga. Photo: RNZ / Patricia Valois

Lines company Powerco says staff are on alert with more high winds expected in the northern Bay of Plenty and Coromandel on Thursday night.

The winds are part of a storm system that earlier knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers in the upper North Island.

Powerco said 200 people remain without power and t would be reconnected on Thursday night.

However, acting network operations manager Dean Stevenson said extra crews have been brought in, with high winds expected again between 8pm and midnight.

Network engineers from Vector said the storm which hit Auckland on Wednesday was the worst since 1975 and some 1129 households are without power.

The Tauranga City Council is urging residents to be conservative with water in the coming days as the supply is at 50 percent due to a build-up of silt.

The MetService forecasts the rain to ease early on Friday morning.

Roads closed

The New Zealand Transport Agency says State Highways 25 and 25A are closed between Hikuai and Tairua but there is a detour. SH 25A is also closed between Thames and the SH 25 Junction.

State Highway 29 through the Kaimai Ranges remains closed because of slips. Several roads in the Gisborne area are also closed.

Civil Defence authorities in Gisborne say the region has got off lightly after rain overnight failed to raise rivers to crisis levels.

The Hikuwai River north of Tolaga Bay peaked at 10.8 metres, short of the 12-metre mark that would have triggered evacuations. Motorists are urged to take care, with up to a dozen roads in the region closed due to flooding.