14 Jul 2019

Residents told to stay home as rain soaks capital

2:19 pm on 14 July 2019

Drivers are being urged to take caution after high winds caused a campervan to overturn in an area known as Windy Gap, on State Highway 5 in Hawke's Bay.

A campervan on its side is blocking southbound lane approximately 2 kilometres south of Te Haroto.

A campervan on its side is blocking southbound lane approximately 2 kilometres south of Te Haroto. Photo: Supplied.

A police spokesperson said the crash happened about two kilometres south of Te Haroto. No injuries were reported. Police and contractors were directing traffic.

Motorists, especially those with high-sided vehicles, including caravans and campervans, are advised to exercise extreme caution while driving in the area.

Meanwhile, strong wind and rain is lashing much of the country this afternoon, with MetService issuing a raft of severe weather warnings.

heavy rain has caused flooding in low-lying areas of Wellington, disrupting public transport, some flights and lifting manhole covers on streets.

The lines company company, Vector, is warning of potential outages and damage to power lines in the Auckland region due to strong winds this afternoon.

MetService meteorologist Hanna Moes said it's been a wild day throughout New Zealand.

"When that front crossed through Wellington some active thunderstorms accompanied it. We saw about 34 millimetres [of rain] within a two-hour period and we also had wind gusts of about 120km/h in the Wellington region.

"For Auckland so far we've seen about 20 millimetres across the region but rain is continuing there with a risk of thunderstorms."

This morning Wellington City Council warned residents to stay off the roads as stormy weather and heavy rain has caused flooding in many parts of the city.

Its spokesperson, Richard McLean, there was flooding in many low lying areas, including the CBD, Miramar and other eastern suburbs and also northern suburbs such as Johnsonville.

Niwa said heavy rain has also reached New Plymouth, and would head north in the next few hours.

Residents of Dargaville and the Kaipara region have been warned to brace for a thunderstorm expected to hit western Northand this afternoon.