23 Jan 2011

More flooding predicted for Auckland with high tide

10:21 pm on 23 January 2011

Civil Defence is warning the worst may be yet to come for those already affected by flooding in the Auckland area.

The worst affected areas are Auckland's lower CBD, eastern suburbs, Maraetai, Leigh, Herald Island and parts of State Highway 16, State Highway One and Tamaki Drive.

Civil Defence said properties that were affected on Sunday morning will be affected again at high tide at about 11.30pm.

The Fire Service said many commercial premises in the CBD were flooded and in Bucklands Beach, water came straight in from the beach and flooded houses on The Parade.

Multiple homes and restaurants flooded on Maraetai Drive but on Sunday night the service's shift commander, Jaron Philips, said the main concern was Herald Island, where 30 houses were flooded by sea-water.

Auckland's Civil Defence controller, Clive Manley, said contractors and civil defence staff assisted in sandbagging the affected areas.

He said people who did not want to stay in their properties were staying with friends on Sunday night.

The Fire Service said it responded to about 150 weather-related incidents on Sunday.

Commercial properties flooded

The northern fire communications shift manager, Jaron Phillips, said fire fighters helped to pump out water from commercial properties on Customs Street East and Queen Street on Sunday.

Areas that flooded included the Queens Arcade on Queens Street, the basement of the Point Apartments in the Viaduct, and the basement of Excelsior House on Britomart.

In the lower central business district buildings in Mahuhu Crescent were flooded.

Road closures

Police urged motorists in the North Island to drive to the conditions, with flooding and slips on many major highways.

The Desert Road remained closed on Sunday night as did the section of State Highway One between Wairakei and Taupo, although a bypass was available.

State Highway Two at the Waioeka Gorge was closed due to slips and rising river waterways. Motorists were advised to delay travel or take an alternative route.

State Highway 43 from Stratford to Taumarunui was closed due to flooding.