5 Jan 2018

Spiralling storm: What you need to know

4:53 pm on 5 January 2018

Heavy rains and severe gales have caused flooding and power outages to most parts of the North Island.

The Thames Coast Rd in the Coromandel on Friday morning.

The Thames Coast Rd in the Coromandel on Friday morning. Photo: Thames Coromandel District Council

Northland and Auckland is still in the grip of the wild weather, which is expected to ease through the day.

Auckland has received more rain in the last day than it did in November and December combined.

The storm will move down the country, with the east coast of the South Island expected to be hit today.


  • Power has been restored to most of Whangarei and Kaipara after 5000 homes were left with outages overnight.
  • Across the rest of Northland, about 2000 customers are without power and strong winds are making repairs to the lines challening.
  • Hundreds of homes in Dargaville are without power this morning and customers are warned to expect more outages as strong winds batter the region.


  • Emergency services have closed Tamaki Road due to storm surges. Civil Defence is advising people to stay away from Tamaki Road due to the risk of flooding.
  • The Northern Motorway has re-opened after surface flooding on the southbound lanes between the Northcote off-ramp and the Onewa on-ramp near the Harbour Bridge closed it down.
  • Waihake Island ferry services were cancelled earlier today, but were due to resume from 2pm.
  • Power is out to about 12,000 homes across Central Auckland to Mangawhai Heads. Some homes in Kumeu have been without power for 12 hours, leaving them without water supply.
  • Vector said it's had crews working much of the night to restore outages hitting pockets from Mangawhai in the north to Mt Wellington in the south.
  • The fire service received 200 calls last night, nearly double the amount it receives in a night.
  • All Gulf Harbour ferry services have been cancelled, and are being operated by a bus service.
  • There have been 15 weather-related calls this morning, no reports of serious flooding.


  • People in low-lying areas in the Hauraki area of Kaiaua Village and East Coast Road have been asked to self-evacuate due to flooding fears.
  • Power remains out to parts of the Thames-Coromandel, with about 800 homes without power. Extra crews have been brought in to cope with restoring the supply.
  • A Civil Defence welfare team has been established in the Thames Coromandel. For people who haven't been able to evacuate to higher ground, the Te Puru hall has been made available for people to go to in the interim. There are about 65 people currently stranded at the hall.
  • The defence force has been called into help flood ravaged residents on the Coromandel Peninsula. Army trucks are being used to help local civil defence and the Red Cross is also providing assistance.
  • Thames Coast Road along State Highway 25 has been closed north of Thames due to the high tide causing swells, with waves and debris strewn across the road, making it unsafe to drive on. The road south of Thames is now open.
  • A treatment plant in Pauanui has been shut down due to sediment. People in the area have been urged to conserve water.

Bay of Plenty

  • A woman has died in Rotorua after a tree crushed her car.
  • High winds and heavy rain brought down power lines in parts of Rotorua and caused slips on some roads, with a few trees coming down in the area as well as in Whakatane.
  • Power is out to about 3300 homes in Rotorua. People are being urged to check their emergency kits for battery-operated radios, a torch and spare batteries.
  • The Waimana River reached its first warning level, with the Kaituna reaching its second warning level this morning. There is no cause for concern.
  • Two large slips closed the Waioeka Gorge, and partially blocked the road between Opotiki and Te Araroa but have now re-opened. Motorists are advised to postpone any non-urgent travel.

Hawke's Bay

  • Power is out to parts of Napier and Hastings due to high winds and vegetation blowing into power lines. People are being warned to prepare for more outages throughout the day.


  • Central fire communications says the weather has casued a few issues from Napier to Masterton, with the fire service called out to flooding, roofs lifting and trampolines flying, with this region next in the line of fire for the front.


  • Heavy rain in the past hour has flooded roads around Wellington City - particularly in low-lying areas in the eastern suburbs. Affected roads include Shelly Bay Road, Kilbirnie Crescent, The Esplanade at Houghton Bay and Monorgan Road in Strathmore.
  • The Interislander is operating as normal, with no disruptions to the service.

South Island

  • SH1 on either side of Kaikoura has been closed due to minor rockfalls and surface flooding. The inland route, Route 70, through Waiau and Mt Lyford remains open as the road into Kaikoura.
  • The highway to the south between Peketa and Goose Bay and the northern link between Clarence and Mangamaunu remains closed.
  • Drivers travelling between Picton and Christchurch are encouraged to use the Lewis Pass alternate route today and tomorrow.
  • There is surface flooding in Rakaia near the Rakaia River, and motorists are advised to take care.
  • The fire service said there have only been two calls due to rocks coming down in Nelson.
  • Some streets along Christchurch's Heathcote River are flooded, and residents are out trying to unblock their drains ahead of more rain expected later today.