Floods widespread as storm passes by
Water gushed through parked cars on Rotorua’s main street yesterday as a deluge struck the Bay of Plenty city.
And a quiet little creek became a thundering torrent through a Rotorua suburb.
The Coromandel Peninsula was also hit hard by the storm yesterday morning, particularly Waihi and Whangamata.
Metservice was predicting the deluge was going to get worse.
Localised downpours of 20mm to 40mm per hour were forecast in the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty.
In Rotorua, resident Jan Chesterman said a neighbour’s sinkhole had collapsed.
‘‘The bank is breaking through. There’s quite a bit of water and rocks and whatnot coming down here.
‘‘It’s thundering past.’’
Jewan Preet, who works at a store in the central city, said water had flooded into half of the cars parked in the main street.
Fire Services spokesman Scott Osmond said Rotorua stations had been inundated with calls.
‘‘We have had over 100 jobs in Rotorua. We’re attending as many as we can, but we can’t get through all of them at the moment.’’ A lot of houses were flooded and cars were getting stuck in the water.
In the Coromandel, Waihi fire chief Moe Stevens said the calls started coming in yesterday morning. ‘‘People driving into the floodwater and that sort of thing and a few garages, et cetera, [have] flooded.
‘‘A lot of the cases, there’s nowhere to pump the water – not a hell of a lot [we can do] in some cases.’’
Whangamata volunteer chief officer Nigel Airey said a couple were rescued on Saturday night in Wentworth Valley.
‘‘They just drove through