25 Jun 2020

Much needed rain a relief, but too much for some areas

6:57 pm on 25 June 2020

Northland and Auckland got a desperately needed downpour overnight but parts of the Coromandel got too much, causing flooding and slips.

Urban view of rain drops falls on a window during a stormy day overlooking Auckland CBD New Zealand skyline in the background.

Photo: 123RF

More than 50 millimetres in Auckland - and more near the city's catchments - put a smile on the faces of the city's water planners.

Two cars getting stuck in floodwaters in Auckland this morning was near the worst of the most welcome downpour so far this winter. A slip on Hunua Road in the city's south-east is being cleared, but will likely be closed overnight.

But it piled up worse further east. Thames-Coromandel Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler said the heavy rain proved to be an issue.

"It's brought down a number of large slips on the state highway network. I've just been through one on the Kopu-Hikuaia. There are a number of stop-go points around the peninsula and a lot of debris on the road," Towler said.

Contractors had been cleaning up today.

All things considered, Towler said they did well - there was some wind damage, but no reports of any serious problems.

The Hikuai-Tairua road (State Highway 25 and 25A) are both back open after flooding overnight.

Auckland's water catchment areas had more rain yesterday and this morning than it did in the entire previous week - about 80 to 90 mm - the most since September 2019.

The Mayor Phil Goff hailed it as a small win as the city plays catch up on a severe long-term water shortage.

"The good news is that our lake levels in the last 24 hours have gone up over two percent, to 47 percent. The bad news is that we will also have through Spring lower than average rainfall."

Metservice meteorologist Lewis Ferris said the rain is not done yet - it's slipping southward into Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

"As we head further into Friday and we see that heaviest rain move into Gisborne, we are going to see the largest accumulation about the ranges - it could be 120 to 180 millimetres - so those heavy rains in the ranges will cause some effects, but the people around Gisborne city won't see as much of that rain."

Ferris said the Coromandel will see some more rainfall, as will the Ruahine and Kaweka Ranges above Hawke's Bay, but should pass by the weekend.

A heavy rain warning is in place for Gisborne and the ranges in Hawke's Bay tonight and tomorrow morning.

Metservice says to watch for rivers rising quickly, and says road flooding and slips may make driving hazardous.

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