Lit­tle eas­ing as rain dis­rupts north­ern traf­fic

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - STUFF RE­PORTERS

Heavy rain caused slips and flood­ing through­out North­land and sev­eral schools were forced to close yes­ter­day.

The MetSer­vice is­sued sev­eral weather warn­ings for western parts of Auck­land across to in­land Hawkes Bay, in­clud­ing western parts of Bay of Plenty and Ro­torua.

‘‘If you get caught un­der that re­ally ac­tive thun­der­storm you could get 50mm-plus if it stuck over you for an hour,’’ MetSer­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gist Lisa Mur­ray said. ‘‘This is a slow-mov­ing sys­tem, there’s po­ten­tial for that to hap­pen.’’

The NZ Trans­port Agency said a slip closed State High­way 11 south of Opua in the Bay of Is­lands, and sur­face flood­ing closed a lane along part of SH1 in Hamil­ton.

An aban­doned car was caught in the slip at Opua. No-one was in­jured.

There are also reports of flood­ing at Kaeo, south of Kerik­eri and near the Pakaraka turnoff..

A large branch snapped off a tree and crashed onto cars parked in Hamil­ton about 11am yes­ter­day. No-one was in­jured.

In Toko­roa fire­fight­ers were called af­ter a mo­torist be­came trapped in flood­wa­ters. The man was on his way to work when he be­came stuck in knee-deep flood­wa­ters, Toko­roa fire bri­gade se­nior sta­tion of­fi­cer Chris Bar­rett said.

In Kerik­eri, 56mm of rain fell be­tween 5am and 9am, in­clud­ing 26.4mm in one hour. Over 12 hours the town had 76.4mm of rain, Kaikohe had 30.6mm and Kaitaia about 43mm.

A sta­tion­ary front was stretch­ing in a line from North­land, through Auck­land and down into the north­ern part of the Cen­tral Plateau yes­ter­day, MetSer­vice’s Mur­ray said. ‘‘It’s go­ing to stick around ... It might ease off but it’s go­ing to come back.’’

The rain could ease in eastern parts of North­land dur­ing the af­ter­noon, but heavy falls were ex­pected to con­tinue in western ar­eas un­til evening.

Rain had sub­sided in the Waikato, but had caused se­vere sur­face flood­ing, sewage over­flows and the clo­sure of roads in Opotiki.

PHO­TOS: SUP­PLIED/BETH RIKA/STUFF

A car is trapped in a slip at Opua in the Bay of Is­lands yes­ter­day while farm­land is flooded around Kaeo.

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