24 Feb 2023

As it happened: More heavy rain hits Auckland, Northland

10:11 pm on 24 February 2023
Flooding hit Northland again.

Flooding hit Northland again. Photo: Supplied / Civil Defence Northland

The latest in a series of weather events is blowing through the North Island, leaving flooded roads and stranded drivers throughout much of Auckland and Northland.

A full list of the latest MetService weather warnings can be found here.

By 8pm, Fire and Emergency had already received 96 weather-related callouts - including 65 in Auckland. Closures on State Highway 1 have blocked some access to Northland from Auckland.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said that further heavy rain is likely on and off across most of the region for a few more hours.

Brown said anyone worried about their safety should consider staying with friends or family or head to the nearest Civil Defence Centre.

Auckland Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson has urged the public to watch for moving ground, look after pets and stay home if at all possible this evening.

She told Checkpoint: "Act immediately if you see rising water. Floods and landslips can happen very quickly.

"If you see by the naked eye or sense moving earth or rising water, please do not wait for any more official warnings - head for safer grounds... if you feel your life is in danger, please call 111 immediately."

Earlier this afternoon, motorists in the area had to be rescued by boat after their vehicles became caught in floodwaters.

Three homes in the Dairy Flat area, just north of Auckland city, were evacuated after torrential rainfall from this afternoon's thunderstorms.

About 50 people were at the Mangawhai golf club Civil Defence centre north of Auckland tonight, caught out by heavy rain and road closures.

Students, parents and teachers are sleeping over at schools in the Kaipara district tonight after flooding and slips closed all roads back to Mangawhai.

Kaipara civil defence controller John Burt said about 30 people are staying at Kaiwaka Primary School, and around 40 people at Otamatea High School.

The Kaipara mayor said Mangawhai residents should leave their homes if they feel unsafe.

Craig Jepson said almost 400mm of rain has been measured locally since 4.30pm Friday.

A complete list of Auckland shelters and Civil Defence Centres can be found here.

Text alerts have also gone out to residents in North and West Auckland to avoid unecessary travel as thunderstorms brought localised downpours.

Those in Rodney, Helensville, Upper Harbour, Te Atatu and Henderson Valley received an emergency alert on their mobiles as the rain has increased the risk of landsliding and flooding.

Bethells Beach, Piha, Karekare and Muriwai, which have been cut off since Cyclone Gabrielle, have also received the mobile alert.

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai councillor Mike Howard said there had been thunder, lightning and very heavy rain over Mangawhai on Friday afternoon.

"We had 51mm in an hour earlier on," he told Checkpoint.

"It's absolutely heaving down again..."

He said he has seen torrents of water on some local roads and farm land.

Areas north of Auckland were hit by the sudden torrential downpour Friday afternoon causing slips, road closures and surface flooding in towns including Mangawhai, Wellsford and Te Arai.

Meanwhile, heavy rain warnings remain in place for Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and the Coromandel, with the regions bracing for more downpours this weekend.

Metservice said the heaviest rain for Hawke's Bay will be during Saturday morning with the risk of thunderstorms.

A precautionary evacuation order was also issued for people in the Esk Valley ahead of the heavy rain. It took effect from 1.30pm today.

See how today's news unfolded with RNZ's live blog:

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