Heavy rain causes flooding and slips in Northland and Auckland
Heavy rain in Northland and Auckland has caused traffic problems, with more severe thunderstorms predicted for Friday afternoon.
Already, heavy and persistent rainfall across Northland has seen Kaitaia have its wettest two-day period in 10 years.
Over 143mm of rain doused the region over the past two days, said MetService meteorologist Thomas Adams.
More heavy rain could be on the way: at midday on Friday, MetService issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Northland and Auckland.
Daytime heating, very humid northeasterlies, and wind convergences were producing heavy showers over Northland and northernmost Auckland, MetService said.
"Conditions could lead to the development of severe thunderstorms, with localised downpours of 25-40mm/hr. Rainfall of this intensity can cause flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips."
MetService said driving conditions would be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain.
Earlier, a person was taken to hospital in a critical condition after four separate crashes caused by a diesel spill in the east Auckland suburb of Beachlands.
Emergency services rushed to the scene in Whitford Rd about 9.25am on Friday.
One person was freed from the wreckage by fire crews, a fire communications spokeswoman said. One other person suffered minor injuries.
The four crashes on the road was the result of a "significant" diesel spill between Wades Rd and Sandstone Rd, area commander Inspector Wendy Spiller said.
All four crashes happened about the same time, she said.
Whitford Rd was closed between the roundabout and Beachlands, but was re-opened about 1.30pm.
Meanwhile, it was a slow journey to work on Friday for many Aucklanders, with heavy rain and some flooding across the city.
A Fire Service spokeswoman said reports had been received of a roof lifting at a Torbay home and trees fallen across roads in the early hours of Friday.
Traffic was heavy along stretches of the southern motorway, with hotspots at Papakura, Manukau, East Tamaki, Ellerslie and Mount Wellington.
NZTA earlier reported that the right lane of the Victoria Park Tunnel was briefly blocked due to flooding, but has now been cleared.
The right lane is blocked in the Victoria Park Tunnel due to flooding. Please take extra care and drive to the conditions ^LC pic.twitter.com/pPHNaD2fmv— NZTA Akld & Nthlnd (@NZTAAkl) February 16, 2017
In Northland, Omamari Road in Kaihu was blocked after a landslip overnight.
A police spokesperson said the slip had taken out power lines and was covering 50m of the road.
Police expected the road would be closed for most of the day and advised drivers to avoid the area.
Diversions were in place from Kai Iwi Rd and Omamari Rd, as well as along the coast towards Babylon Coast Rd, back to State Highway 12 and the Parore area.