More wild weather on the way for North Island

Washbourn Gardens flooded after heavy rain in the early hours of Thursday.
CHAR WELLS

Washbourn Gardens flooded after heavy rain in the early hours of Thursday.

More downpours are on the way for the North Island as the South Island cleans up after flooding.

MetService issued a severe thunderstorm watch on Thursday evening, warning areas in central and upper-North Island regions to brace for more heavy rain.

Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupo were expected to experience heavy rain and thunderstorms on Thursday night and early Friday morning, MetService said.

The swollen Maitai River at the Trafalgar St bridge at 6am on Thursday.
WARREN GAMBLE

The swollen Maitai River at the Trafalgar St bridge at 6am on Thursday.

There was a possibility of downpours of up to 40 millimetres an hour over Auckland near the Hauraki Gulf, the Coromandel Peninsula and Kaimai Range, also Bay of Plenty and eastern parts of Taupo.

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This type of intense rainfall brought with it the possibility of flooding and slips.

The watch comes after heavy rain lashed both North and South Islands overnight on Wednesday.

A series of fronts from the Tasman Sea moving over the country are bringing the damaging heavy rain and gales.

Torrential rain and high winds caused overnight havoc in the Nelson region, with flooded homes and roads, felled trees and swollen rivers.

WEATHER UPDATE:Intense rain across the region has resulted in widespread surface flooding and trees down. The Civil...

Posted by Nelson Tasman Emergency Management on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Parts of Kaikoura suffered wind damage, Southern Fire shift manager Brent Dunn said. 

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Lightning struck two houses in Cromwell and Hawea Flat, Central Otago, causing sockets to smoke inside.

APARTMENTS EVACUATED IN NELSON

The swollen Maitai River, as seen from the Collingwood St Bridge.
SALLY KIDSON/FAIRFAX MEDIA

The swollen Maitai River, as seen from the Collingwood St Bridge.

Nelson Fire Service station officer Craig Davies said the eight occupants of two central city apartments in Bridge St had to be evacuated after ceilings collapsed following the wild weather on Wednesday night. A blockage in the building's internal gutterings caused water to overflow into the plaster ceilings. 

Six occupants in one apartment and a couple in the other had to find other accommodation.

Firefighters were also called to the former State Insurance Building in Bridge St where water leaked through the roof, drenching both floors. A garage flooded in Washington Rd, and a downstairs apartment in NIle St was also flooded.

Flooding in the Appleby region.
TAMARA EGGERS

Flooding in the Appleby region.

CLOSE WATCH ON RIVERS

Civil Defence said the Wairoa River at Brightwater, which reached 1 in 25-year flood levels early Thursday morning, caused extensive surface flooding, including over State Highway 6 at Brightwater bridge. Police alerted residents in the worst-hit areas, but there were no evacuations.

Contractors closed a section of Maitai Valley Rd at Ralphine Way on Thursday morning after a sustained downpour saw the Maitai River rise quickly and flood the road. The Maitai walkway between Collingwood St and Bridge St was also closed by flooding.

Flooding in the Appleby area.
TAMARA EGGERS

Flooding in the Appleby area.

Civil Defence Nelson-Tasman group controller Roger Ball said the Maitai reached annual flood levels, but was dropping back as the rain eased after sunrise on Thursday.

In Golden Bay, flooding at Upper Takaka made the highway impassable for a period on Wednesday night. The Anatoki River reached 10-year flood levels.

A rain gauge in the hills behind Takaka had recorded a whopping 528mms in the last 48 hours, and hydrologists had reported the 300mm of rain in the upper Lee Valley catchment in the same period was the second highest level since recording began.

Strong winds brought down several trees in Nelson, and firefighters were called to secure a trampoline after it blew into a house in Stoke.

WEST COAST SET FOR MORE RAIN

Civil Defence manager Chris Raine said a front arriving on the West Coast on Thursday morning would bring more heavy rain to the already sodden region.

The rain was expected to continue through to Friday afternoon, with up to 130mm expected between Haast and Hokitika.

"Civil Defence is advising motorists to avoid travel between Haast and Hokitika or bring food and water as slips may come down and motorists could be trapped if slips come down ahead or behind them," he said. 

WINDY IN NORTH

Metservice duty forecaster Chelsea Glue said the Auckland region had experienced heavy rainfall, and gusty winds overnight on Wednesday and on Thursday.

"Some gusts in particularly exposed spots are reportedly 35 knots - which is around 70 kilometres."

Much of the Auckland region had felt over 30 millimetres of rain in the past 12 hours - enough to help out the gardens. 

A northern region Fire Service spokeswoman said services had responded to a number of weather-related callouts.

"We've had half a dozen storm related callouts in the Auckland region where trees have fallen down."

The spokeswoman said Fire Service had also responded to several similar incidents in the Bay of Plenty region. 

 - Stuff

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