Thunderstorms, heavy rain cause powercuts, evacuations in Auckland and Northland
Parts of Auckland and Northland were underwater on Friday night as torrential rain battered the upper North Island.
MetService had issued severe weather warnings for the top of the country and was urging people to be on "high alert" as the storm dubbed the Tasman Tempest moved back in.
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WeatherWatch also issued a flood alert for Auckland as a band of tropical downpours moved south.
In Northland, a family who were trapped in their Waiomio Valley home by rising water were pulled to safety by a farmer with a tractor.
Most Waiomio Valley families had self-evacuated by Friday afternoon, with some seeking refuge at nearby Mohinui Marae, Wayne Martin, the chief fire officer at the Kawakawa Fire Station, said.
People in the area were "pretty resilient", he said, and community plans were in place if fire services are not able to reach certain areas.
In Auckland, hundreds of homes were in the dark as wet weather caused power poles to spark.
In the west Auckland suburb of Glen Eden, more than 600 homes were without power.
In Silverdale, north Auckland, 108 homes were in the dark after a lightning strike on Pebble Brook Rd.
Public transport services were also affected by the weather.
Train services across the Eastern and Onehunga lines were running at a reduced frequency and some Pine Harbour ferry services had been replaced with buses.
Northern fire communications shift manager Megan Ruru said the Fire Service was responding to "multiple flood incidents" throughout Auckland.
Most of those involved flooded basements, she said.
Meteorologist Lisa Murray said heavy rain and thunderstorms would continue overnight on Friday and into the weekend.
There could also be localised downpours which could cause further flooding, such as in the already worse-for-wear south Auckland region of Clevedon, she said.
"The ground is already saturated so more water will just run off when it lands."People should definitely be on high alert."
A severe weather warning was issued for Auckland at 1pm on Friday, as another 80-100mm of rain had been forecast to fall before 7am on Saturday.
Rain and thunderstorms should ease on Saturday morning, but then pick back up by the afternoon and continue through to Sunday, she said.
Severe weather warnings are also in place for Northland, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty, where more than 100mm of rain is expected in the next 24 hours.
State Highway 10 in Kerikeri was down to one lane on Friday afternoon and police were helping to control the long lines of vehicles.
Meanwhile, Civil Defence was advising that the weather on Saturday and Sunday could be as bad, or worse, than that which caused widespread flooding on Wednesday.
Residents from Northland to Waikato were urged to expect and prepare for more flash flooding, land slips, hazardous driving conditions and power outages.
"The difficult thing is that, with such volatile weather patterns, we can't pinpoint the areas that will be most affected," said the head of emergency operations, Aaron Davis.
"This makes it very important for all Aucklanders to keep an eye on weather updates and make sensible decisions this weekend.
"Localised downpours are possible anywhere in the region from Friday and throughout the weekend, with the highest risk times expected to be Friday night and into Saturday morning."
Heavy rain battered Northland and parts of Waikato on Friday morning and was beginning to roll into Auckland on Friday afternoon.
"While not everyone will experience a downpour over the course of the next few days, those that do should expect some impacts from them. Downpours can cause flash flooding, land slips, and make driving hazardous.
"MetService tells us that weather coming through tonight and tomorrow morning could be as bad, or worse, than that which caused flooding earlier in the week," he said.
Some residents in the Kawakawa Bay and Orere Point on Auckland's south east coast, and Waiti Bay on Waiheke were still experiencing power outages and isolation due to slips from Wednesday's "Tasman Tsunami".
Davis said CD was working with emergency responders, council teams and Vector to make sure those communities were OK while access and power was being worked on.
"Our south eastern communities are being very resilient and looking out for each other – this is really important in an emergency situation."
CIVIL DEFENCE URGES PREPAREDNESS
* Check your drains and gutters to ensure these aren't blocked. These can cause flooding issues during heaving rain.
* Take extreme care if you are driving in heavy rain, and delay trips if possible. Do not drive through floodwaters.
* Consider alternative plans if you have an outdoor event scheduled this weekend.
* If you live on a rural property, think about your livestock rotation for the weekend, especially if areas of your farms are flood-prone.
* Keep an eye on the weather forecast.
* If life or property is at risk, call 111.
* If you experience stormwater issues or trees down on public land, call Auckland Council on (09) 301 0101.
* Reduce water use by 20 litres (two buckets) per day to alleviate pressure on water treatment centres.
* Owners of properties and farms in south east Auckland affected by flooding should contact their insurance company, and rural people can contact the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 for additional support.
In Clevedon, Twilight Road from Kimptons Rd to North Rd was still closed on Friday night.
Tapapakanga, Hunua Ranges, Waitawa and parts of Waharau regional parks remained closed due to flooding impacts.
There would be no public access allowed at those parks until further notice.