12 Feb 2020

Storm warning: Uesi set to deliver rain, gales to South Island

6:29 pm on 12 February 2020

Drought-affected Northland and Auckland are expected to miss out on rain from an ex-tropical cyclone which could deliver more bad weather for the West Coast and Fiordland this weekend.

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Weather experts are keeping a close eye on Tropical Cyclone Uesi and are unsure of its possible impact on New Zealand. Photo: NIWA

Tropical Cyclone Uesi is heading towards New Zealand, and although it will lose its cyclone status and become a deep low by the time it arrives on Saturday, it could deliver some severe weather to parts of the South Island, Met Service says.

Fiordland will be in the firing line first with rain and severe gales.

Niwa says there will be an increased chance of showers and thunderstorms in several parts of the country next week if Uesi makes its presence felt.

Tropical cyclone Uesi has brought torrential rain today to New Caledonia's north as the storm passes to the west of the islands.

Up to 300mm of rain fell in 48 hours, flooding some roads.

On Belep, several people had to leave their homes to shelter at the town hall.

The MetService says it will be closely monitoring the situation for New Zealand over the next few days as there is uncertainty over the track Uesi will take and its intensity, however, at present it was expected to bring heavy rain and gales over the Southern Alps, the West Coast, Otago and Southland during Sunday and Monday.

Milford Sound is bracing for more bad weather to hit in the coming days.

The only road into Milford Sound was hit with landslips and flooding when a metre of rain fell in less than three days.

Four-wheel drive access has been established for emergency services, but the road remains closed to all other traffic.

Business and essential service convoys are expected to start this weekend, but more rain could fall from Sunday.

Southland civil defence controller Angus McKay says the first priority is making sure residents have enough supplies as access may be cut again.

The Transport Agency's system manager Graeme Hall says the damage will require a significant rebuild over more than 12 months.

Tourism buses will be included in the convoy from next Friday.

Flooding on the Milford Rd

Flooding on the road to Milford. Photo: NZTA

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