Makara cut off by flooding

TIM DONOGHUE AND SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 22:40 09/08/2012
Flooding
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ

MORNING SPLASH: Surface flooding Shelly Bay Rd.

Rain in wellington
ROSS GIBLIN/The Dominion Post
A pedestrian gets caught in the rain this morning.

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Residents in the Wellington coastal community of Makara remain cut off by flooding tonight.

Maxine Forde said in the three years she had lived in Makara, she had never seen such severe flooding.

"Our drive was under water this morning. Sheep were trapped in a paddock and I was justabout up to my waist in water.

"We managed to get the sheep through otherwise they would have gone because they were pretty much trapped in the water."

The paddock was 200m to 300m from a river, and looked more like a lake, she said.

"You could hardly see where the river was. It's the biggest I have seen it."

The water had receeded, but there was still some surface flooding, Mrs Forde said.

Sections of Makara Beach Rd, and the Takarau Gorge Rd between Makara and Johnsonville are underwater and will remain closed overnight.

Engineers will assess any damage caused by flooding at 7am tomorrow and determine when the roads can reopen.

Road closure signs have been erected at the Karori end of Makara Rd and the Ohariu Valley end of Takarau Gorge Rd.

Sergeant Andy Dow, of police communications, said there had been a minor slip on the uphill section of Onslow Rd between the Hutt Rd and Khandallah.

Mr Dow also said a small slip had come down on Raroa Crescent, off Chaytor Street, in Northland.

"It's blocking half a lane. Traffic disruption is minimal," Mr Dow said.

He said traffic heading from Karori to Upper Willis Street via Raroa Crescent could expect minor delays this morning.

Mr Dow said a third slip had come down between Shelley Bay and Massey Memorial on the Miramar Peninsula.

He said it was blocking part of the road near the entrance to the Massey Memorial walkway.   

He said there were also reports of flooding in the Aotea Lagoon area near the Police College in Porirua.

Mr Downsaid there had been no accidents reported as a direct result of the heavy rainfall so far this morning.

He suggested motorists should exercise caution while driving.

"They should watch their following distances and reduce speed while driving," Mr Dow said.

DELUGE SHOULD EASE

The rain should clear by this afternoon or tonight but may take a few hours longer in Wairarapa.

MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said the ''wraparound'' rain is sitting on the back side of the low blanketing the North Island.

''This low is moving east and the rain will ease during the afternoon or evening in Wellington and skies should clear overnight. It might take a few hours longer across the Wairarapa.''

Tomorrow, would probably be the best day of the week with dry, fine spells.

By Saturday, cloud would thicken and a north-easterly would develop but it would still be ''a decent day for the outside.''

Mr Corbett said recent weather patterns had caused the lows to linger.

Cloud will thicken late Saturday night and rain will spread by Sunday morning.

''Sunday and Monday we will be back into the  rain coats as outbreaks of rain move across the area.''

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Contact Tim Donoghue
General reporter
Email: tim.donoghue@dompost.co.nz

- The Dominion Post

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