Wild weather destroys supermarket wall in Auckland
Wild weather has destroyed a supermarket facade, forcing shoppers to evacuate the Sunnynook Countdown, on Auckland's North Shore.
The store closed for 20 minutes just after 6pm as tiles were torn off the front wall by strong winds.
A store spokesman, Davin, said they closed temporarily out of safety concerns but there were no injuries.
"It all just collapsed. It was bad but could have been worse."
Shopper Emily Malcolm said there were two separate bangs. The first sounded as if someone had driven their car into the store.
"It sounded like a huge crash. Then a few minutes later everything, all the tiles, just collapsed."
A crash on Glenfield Rd near intersection with Sunset Rd is delaying traffic. Follow directions of emergency services. ^TP— NZTA Akld & Nthlnd (@NZTAAkl) January 8, 2016
Malcolm said a message went over the loud speaker telling everyone to leave.
She said she ended up leaving her trolley and went and bought her groceries at the Pak 'n Save.
The storms battered the region consistently during the day and has rolled across the country.
A multi-car crash on Sthn Mwy citybound at Drury interchange is partially blocking right lane. Pass with care as scene is cleared ^TP— NZTA Akld & Nthlnd (@NZTAAkl) January 8, 2016
MetService said the upshot for Auckland is that the worst of it has already passed.
Rain is expected to continue to pelt the region, but the thunderstorms and lightning flashes have moved on.
In some areas, the localised downpour reached more than 20 mm in an hour and the downpour is expected to gradually move eastward.
A spokesperson for Metservice said the thunderstorm is moving in a north-easterly direction, and is expected to hit the Coromandel Peninsula on Friday evening, and move through the Bay Of Plenty overnight.
Auckland's motorways are slow-going with congestion on the Northern Motorway around Albany and the Southern Motorway from Wiri to Drury and around Mt Wellington.
NZTA has tweeted numerous car accidents are blocking the motorways.
The total rainfall for Friday was expected to be over 60mm.
Metservice had issued a severe weather warning for Waitemata Harbour, Hauraki Gulf, and the area from Bream Head to Cape Colville.
Auckland Transport tweeted that the ferry service to Gulf Harbour was replaced by buses due to the weather.
Winds would ease on Friday evening, but the weather for the coming weekend was looking anything but tropical.
After battling multiple house fires in the area only hours before, firefighters were headed to assist a home with a flooded garage on Friday afternoon.
A Fire Service spokeswoman said they were unaware of the extent of the damage.
"We'll see if we can help, and hopefully divert the flooding."
The spokeswoman said things were starting to get busy with weather related incidents.
Drivers battling the conditions were cautioned to be wary of worsening conditions.
NZTA had extended a warning to drivers headed west on the Northwestern Motorway after Lincoln Road. Surface water was flooding the left lane, and drivers were asked to slow down and merge right.
If you had planned on heading away for the weekend, it could be wise to pack a raincoat along with the swimming togs.
Auckland Council spokeswoman Susan Firmston said she has so far received no cancellations for campsite bookings over the coming weekend.
"Possibly there will be cancellations - if it's not too rough though people may just decide to go anyway though."
Firmston said there were several cancellations for campsite bookings last weekend.