Little easing as rain disrupts northern traffic
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.
A car is trapped in a slip at Opua in the Bay of Islands yesterday while farmland is flooded around Kaeo.