21 May 2024

Heavy rain warnings still in place for Hawke's Bay, Tararua, Wairarapa

9:59 pm on 21 May 2024
Heavy rain warnings remain in place for north and south of Hawke's Bay, Tararua and Wairarapa.

Heavy rain warnings are in place for north and south of Hawke's Bay, Tararua and Wairarapa. Photo: Supplied

The weather system which has brought heavy rain to northern and central parts of the North Island may linger over eastern areas until Thursday, MetService says.

Heavy rain warnings are in place for Hawke's Bay north of State Highway 5 until 6pm on Thursday with up to 170mm of rain forecast on top of what has already fallen and for Hawke's Bay south of SH5 until 6am on Thursday with up to 150mm forecast for the coastal hills and ranges with lesser amounts elsewhere.

There is also a heavy rain warning in place for Tararua and Wairarapa where up to 80mm of rain is forecast about the coastal hills and ranges on top of what has already fallen before 3pm on Wednesday.

Heavy rain watches are in place for Marlborough and the Kaikōura Ranges.

Duty meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said it was possible that the heavy rain watches and warnings that were in place could be extended.

"The system is quite a slow moving system finding itself offshore into the later half of Wednesday and into Thursday. However it's still expected to feed moisture onto that east coast of the North Island, so current watches and warnings there is the possibility that may be extended."

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council decided to de-activate its Flood Room emergency response at 2.30pm on Tuesday after water levels in the Ngongotahā and Utuhina Streams began to recede, however, it said it would continue to be on call to maintain an overview of river levels and weather patterns in the region.

Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group said it recognised that the weather conditions and forecast may cause concern for many in the community and that it was closely monitoring the situation.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is warning people to drive with care after the heavy rainfall and to stay off the roads if possible.

There are temporary speed restrictions in place on some roads in Hawke's Bay and Tai Rāwhiti.

A temporary speed restriction of 30 km/h is in place due to surface flooding on State Highway 2 at Whirinaki and on State Highway 5 in Eskdale.

On State Highway 50, at Tikokino and at Waiohiki, road users are being advised to drive with caution because of flooding in those areas.

Meanwhile, police are praising the quick actions of two lineworkers who leaped into floodwaters to save a trapped motorist near Rotorua earlier on Tuesday.

The driver called emergency services after her vehicle became stuck and waters were rising up to her chest.

Police say the workers came to the woman's aid - smashing a window and pulling her to safety - minutes before the vehicle was completely submerged.

Acting Sergeant Kyra Steiner said their efforts most likely saved a life.