Nelson region gets a soaking as Cyclone Cook bears down on New Zealand video

BRADEN FASTIER / Stuff.co.nz

A swollen Waimea River in Appleby, Tasman.

Takaka roads have been closed due to flooding as a result of the deluge that has hit the region.

Heavy rains swelled rivers in Tasman and Nelson, with authorities closing McCallum Rd, One Spec Rd and Long Plain Rd as a result of flooding.

Tasman District Council communications manager Chris Choat said there was substantial rain recorded in Golden Bay on Tuesday night which meant the Anatoki River had risen to a "high level".

"We're keeping a close eye on the river's level but rain seems to be easing over there now."

Surface flooding at an apple orchard near Riwaka, Tasman during recent heavy rains.
BRADEN FASTIER

Surface flooding at an apple orchard near Riwaka, Tasman during recent heavy rains.

READ MORE: Live: Cyclone Cook

Rain is expected to continue throughout Wednesday and Thursday but not at the same levels as experienced in the last 12 hours, according to Choat.

He said the downpour in Nelson, particularly at Third House, the Brook and Maitai valleys meant the Maitai River level was also high.

"The storm water systems seem to be managing but people should stay alert, particularly on roads, with rain expected to continue. More is on the way so be aware."

Motueka Rural Fire Service chief fire officer Mike Riddell said there had been no reports of slips in the region however they did help a resident dig a trench in front of their garage on Wednesday morning to prevent flood waters entering their garage.

He said winds had increased in Motueka but rain had eased over the morning.

A barrier was erected across Manuka St near the ford as water washed across the road.
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

A barrier was erected across Manuka St near the ford as water washed across the road.

"The water tables are up about 50 per cent and we have a full tide at the moment."

MetService metrologist Andy Best said there will be periods of heavy rainfall over the next several hours with possible thunderstorms. 

He said between  25-40mm of rain per hour could be expected, combined with strong north easterly winds.

"That's quite intense," Best said.

"On top of Nelson is this intense front at the moment, associated with the low pressure system over the Tasman Sea."

He said the risk of thunderstorms was high, combined with localised downpours. 

The flooded Waimea River near the Appleby Bridge.
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

The flooded Waimea River near the Appleby Bridge.

"It's really the localised downpours which will give the heavier stuff and that extends basically from the eastern Marlborough Sounds to all over the Nelson region and over to the Buller region and will continue for the rest of today."

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Best said it was unclear at this stage what the expected path of Cyclone Cook would be.

"The cyclone is at the north of New Zealand currently and is expected to surf over the North Island across from the Coromandel Peninsula southwards to Wellington from Friday onwards.

Surface flooding on a paddock near Riwaka, Tasman during recent heavy rains.
BRADEN FASTIER

Surface flooding on a paddock near Riwaka, Tasman during recent heavy rains.

"[The South Island] could have the tail end of it."

The heavy rainfall has caused disruptions on the roads on Wednesday morning.

Two people were trapped after their van rolled into a ditch in Brightwater.

Cyclone Cook could have a sting in its tail for the top of the South Island over the weekend.
BRADEN FASTIER/FAIRFAX NZ

Cyclone Cook could have a sting in its tail for the top of the South Island over the weekend.

Police were called to the scene at 7:38am and St John Ambulance attended as well. Police said a car had hit a stop sign on the corner of Robertson Rd and Lord Rutherford Rd South.

 - Stuff

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