6 Jan 2018

More wild weather to batter NZ

7:30 am on 6 January 2018

The severe weather system that has drenched the North Island over the past 24 hours still has a lot of power driving it, warns MetService.

Heavy rains and strong winds have caused havoc across the country, with one woman killed in Rotorua after a large oak tree came down on her vehicle, while most of the Coromandel Peninsula is almost cut off by flooding and numerous road closures.

The deluge swept over Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne before tracking south.

High tide in Laingholm, west of Auckland

High tide in Laingholm, west of Auckland Photo: Supplied / Sarah-Jane Ellis

Heavy rain in the afternoon flooded a number of roads in Wellington, while parts of Christchurch were again underwater today.

See how the day unfolded with RNZ's live blog here

There should be a break tomorrow, when the low is expected to move away to the southeast.

But MetService meteorologist Ciaran Doolin said there were still a lot of warnings in place, and people needed to be aware of the forecast in their area.

"As the low moves south-easterly across the country during the course of today, basically the wind will come around from the west and it will again be very strong. Things aren't over when the centre has passed you, there is still a lot of weather to come."

Check road closures on the NZTA website here

The Coromandel council has also warned that tonight's high tide between 10:30-11pm is expected to be another king tide, and there is the potential for more flooding along the coast of the Firth of Thames.

Half Moon Bay terminal closed

Auckland Council has warned people to avoid one of its boat ramps after it was seriously damaged in today's wet weather.

Auckland Transport said the Half Moon Bay ferry terminal was closed, and ferries to and from there were cancelled indefinitely.

It said a full assessment of the damage will be done on Monday and customers are being told to look for alternative transport options.

In the meantime, Auckland Council said contractors had put up temporary fencing to stop people accessing it, although they have received reports of people still trying to use it.

Spokesperson Agnes McCormack said it was unsafe for people to launch their boats there and they were urging people to stay away.

Defence Force called in

The Defence Force has been called into help flood-ravaged residents on the Coromandel Peninsula.

SH25 Thames Coast Road after the flooding.

SH25 Thames Coast Road after the flooding. Photo: Waikato Police

The wild weather sweeping the upper North Island hit the Coromandel Peninsula particularly hard, leaving a trail of flooded homes and damaged roads in its wake.

Thames-Coromandel Civil Defence controller Garry Towler said army trucks were being used to help local Civil Defence workers, and the Red Cross was also helping.

He said 65 people were stranded at the Te Puru community hall north of Thames, and numerous roads in the area were still blocked off.

It is not yet known how long it will be before the Thames coast road can be reopened.

More flooding is expected in the area from another high tide late this evening.

Thames-Coromandel mayor Sandra Goudie said the Transport Agency would do its best to get one lane open as soon as possible, but it was a big job.

Ms Goudie said the road needed to be viable, as residents needed it for their income.

On the other side of the Firth of Thames, some people have had to flee their homes in the settlement of Kaiaua.

Power outages

Some of the thousands of North Islanders left without power are unlikely to have it restored until tomorrow.

In the Far North 1300 customers remain without power, with strong winds making repairs challenging.

Across Auckland more than 10,000 homes lost power, and 9000 are affected in Thames, Coromandel and Tauranga.

About 2000 customers in rural areas of Rotorua will remain without power overnight.

A car gets caught in flooding in Raglan.

A car gets caught in flooding in Raglan. Photo: Supplied / Cheryl Reynolds

Surface flooding in Wellington

As the rain took hold of Wellington today, several roads became flooded, with low-lying eastern suburbs in Wellington the worst affected.

The roads affected included Shelly Bay Road, Kilbirnie Crescent, The Esplanade at Houghton Bay and Monorgan Road in Strathmore.

There was surface flooding on the left southbound lane just prior to the Petone on-ramp on State Highway Two in Korokoro, but this has now been cleared.

Motorists north of Wellington were warned they could expect delays of up to 60 minutes.

Due to holiday traffic congestion, the right southbound lane at the Ōtaki roundabout is closed.

Flooding has also affected both northbound lanes of State Highway Two at Belmont and one southbound lane just north of the Kennedy Good Bridge.

Meanwhile, there was surface flooding in Lower Hutt, particularly in the Petone and Seaview areas.

A Hutt City Council spokesperson said this was largely due to the heavy rain coinciding with the king tides and contractors were out clearing drains where necessary.

More flooding for Christchurch

A Christchurch resident whose driveway was left partly underwater today said the area is used to extreme flooding.

Water pumps have been busy in Christchurch since heavy rain and a king tide caused flooding this morning.

Some roads alongside the Heathcote River flooded, with water blocking some driveways.

The Heathcote River in Christchurch on Friday morning.

The Heathcote River in Christchurch on Friday morning. Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

Ms O'Brian said she hoped the rain would ease this evening, as her property and others nearby often flooded during prolonged periods of heavy rain.

The Christchurch City Council said contractors were out unblocking drains.

Flooding at Cooks Beach.

Flooding at Cooks Beach. Photo: Paul Langdon

Flights cancelled delayed

Ten Air New Zealand flights have been cancelled because of the weather.

The airline said many others have been delayed.

It has advised customers to sign up to travel alerts, or check the arrivals and departures page for up-to-date information.

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