30 Nov 2020

Severe weather warning for central parts of New Zealand

5:17 pm on 30 November 2020

MetService is warning of heavy rain and gales on the way for parts of the North Island and upper South Island.

Flooding at the Plimmerton roundabout

The Plimmerton roundabout was flooded yesterday after heavy rain. Photo: Waka Kotahi NZTA

A low pressure moving from Tasman Sea is expected to bring with it severe weather as it crosses the centre of the country tonight and early tomorrow.

MetService said gusts could reach 120km/h and rainfall of 60mm in six hours.

The heavy rain warning was in place for Wairoa District, Marlborough Sounds and the Richmond Range, Wellington and the Kāpiti Coast south of Ōtaki.

Motorists are urged to drive to the conditions as surface flooding and slips are also possible. High-sided vehicles and motorcyclists were also advised to take heed with strong winds on the way.

A Transport Agency spokesperson, Mark Owen, says more heavy rain is on its way tonight, which brings a risk of flooding at the Plimmerton roundabout and on State Highway 2 around Petone.

He says maintenance crews will be out monitoring the storm.

Owen says people should drive carefully, stay alert, and check the forecast before heading out.

It comes after a day of the deluge battered Wellington's Plimmerton, caused traffic delays, and left 15 homes uninhabitable due to floods.

The worst of it for Wellington is expected about 7pm today, with 50mm-60mm of rainfall in six hours forecast.

As the ground was already wet, it was more prone to surface flooding, MetService warned.

A strong wind warning was also in place for Wellington, Kāpiti Coast south of Ōtaki, Marlborough Sounds and the coast north of Cape Campbell.

Southerly gales are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h.

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