10 Mar 2017

Flood-hit north 'waiting for next lot of rain'

12:39 pm on 10 March 2017

Another bout of rain is heading for Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty after a respite overnight.

Flooding in Neil Lamb's Coromandel home.

A flooded home in Hikuai, at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula Photo: Supplied / Neil Lamb

MetService is predicting severe weather will sweep through the top parts of the North Island and last until Sunday.

It follows Wednesday's storm that caused major flooding and slips in south Auckland and Coromandel, damaged houses and forced people to evacuate homes.

Rain forecast for the Coromandel didn't eventuate, and Civil Defence controller Garry Towler said it was now a matter of being prepared for the next downpours.

"Waiting for this next lot of rain to come through, and hopefully that'll be the end of it for a few days, and allow everybody to get cleaned up."

Slips had been cleared and waterways cleaned up, he said.

MetService is warning Northland could get 150mm-200mm of rain through to tomorrow. Heavy rain is forecast for Coromandel and Bay of Plenty today, which will ease off tomorrow.

The aftermath of the flooding near Whangamata.

The muddy aftermath of flooding near Whangamata. Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

"It's certainly batten down the hatches ...for some places," weather commentator Richard Green told Morning Report.

Whitianga was due for a maximum 145mm of rain before midnight on Saturday, 115m was expected in Kaitaia, 120mm in Kerikeri and 100mm in Tauranga, he said.

The weather system from the Tasman was unpredictable, and it was difficult to say exactly where the heaviest rain would fall. "It's a tricky system, and it's quite rare in terms of its longevity ... it doesn't look like it'll disappear until about Sunday."

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Flooding in Clevedon, south Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Brad White

Schools closed

Four schools and five early childhood centres are closed in the upper North Island today because of the flooding.

In Northland, flooded roads have forced three small primary schools to close at Motatau and Maromaku north of Whangarei, and Waima in Hokianga.

A number of Kamo High school students who live on the coast north of Whangarei had to stay in town overnight after flooding on some roads made them impassable for school buses.

Further south, Karangahake School in Thames Coromandel is also closed.


Kawakawa Bay kindergarten is Auckland is closed as are three kohanga reo in Coromandel and Waikato: Kuaotunu Kindergarten, Te Kohanga Reo o Hoterini, Te Kohanga Reo o Matai Whetu, and Te Kohanga Reo o Kapanga.

The Ministry of Education is advising parents to check their school's or early childhood service's website or Facebook page for the latest information.

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