Auckland ravaged by floods, power failures

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Radio New Zealand

Auckland, Sunday, 12 March 2017

Ten people trapped by rising floodwaters in west Auckland have been rescued by the fire service.

A heavy downpour dropped 65mm of rain on West Auckland in just one hour, at about midday, causing flash-flooding and inundating nearly 180 homes, some of them waist-deep.

The Fires Service’s northern communications centre said homes had been flooded in Glen Eden (65), Titirangi (43), Henderson (30), Avondale (20), West Harbour (10), and Te Atatu (8).

Affected areas

Multiple people had been trapped in floodwaters on Great North Road in New Lynn and there were also reports of people trapped in shops in the suburb, the service said.

Crews were setting up lines to rescue those trapped, saying they were suffering from exposure.

It had also received reports of other flooding in nearly a dozen suburbs: Kaukapakapa, Devonport, Parnell, Remuera, Eden Terrace, Blockhouse Bay, Morningside, Massey, Westgate, Whenuapai, and New Lynn.

The service had activated its ‘multiple incident procedure’, it said.

Record amounts of rain over the last two days flooded parts of the Auckland region, Northland and Coromandel.

Auckland received an entire month’s worth of rain in 10 hours yesterday morning, with houses flooded in many suburbs.

Powerless homes

Despite the efforts of crews to restore power after yesterday’s bad weather, more than 4000 homes, mostly in west Auckland, had now lost power.

Vector said a fault caused by a damaged line had affected almost 3000 homes in Glen Eden.

Another fault in the nearby suburb of Sunnyvale cut power to another 1400 houses.

MetService said a trough was crossing central New Zealand today, while a separate low would move south-east across the northern North Island.

The weather has caused slips and surface flooding in Wellington too.

MetService also warned of severe gales in the northern North Island, with northerly gales in the morning swivelling round to the west this afternoon.

Auckland civil defence said it was “a fast moving and very unstable system with a risk of small tornadoes anywhere across the region.”

Great Barrier Island was likely to bear the brunt, with gusts of up to 120km/h possible, civil defence said.

Highways reopened

The Transport Agency said all highways in Coromandel, many of which had been closed by flooding, were now open but drivers should be cautious.

Clevedon, near the Hunua Ranges south-east of Auckland, was starting to prepare for when the water on its properties and roads subsided, by stocking up on supplies.

Torrential rain cut off roads in the town and killed livestock.

Clevedon Rural Supplies employee Penny Gross said locals had been buying gumboots and gloves to clean up the silt.

The business had also sold large amounts of animal feed because other feed had been ruined in the flooding.

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Photo Caption: The scene in New Lynn, West Auckland earlier today. Picture courtesy: New Zealand Herald sourced from New Lynn Facebook Page

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