Auckland back on the firing line with stormy weather

RNZ, Auckland, April 28, 2018

More than 1000 Auckland houses are still without power as heavy rain and wind intensifies around the region.

MetService has issued a fresh severe weather warning for most of the country, with Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Nelson, Westland and Canterbury set to get the same heavy weather lashing Auckland.

Lines company Vector said about 2000 properties in Auckland had had power cut after rain and wind brought down power lines. Of those, 1100 were still waiting for power to be restored.

Heavy rain forecast

Up to 80mm was forecast for the city today, with peak intensities of 35mm an hour.

The wind strength in Auckland was also growing, with gusts of more than 90kmh recorded on the Harbour Bridge, with average wind speeds of 65kmh.

Piha resident Miki Thompson said that the river running alongside her Glenesk Road property had burst its banks and the road’s residents had been cut off by the flooding.

“My husband has just tried to get down to the store and he managed to get (there) but they have now closed the road completely because it is underwater and it has gone over the bridge,” she said.

“It is now flooding onto the campground, so he is stuck on that side of the bridge and he cannot get home to me.”

Power cut

The latest power cut comes only a fortnight after a storm knocked power out to 180,000 homes in the region.

In some cases, people spent up to 10 days without power before it was finally restored.

The forecast winds, which could reach 120kmh, would be coming from the opposite direction of the earlier storm, Vector said.

That could loosen or break already damaged branches and trees.

Two gone missing

Meanwhile, two people aboard a boat that left Great Barrier Island last night are missing.

Police said the pair left the island after a fishing contest and were reported as overdue just before midday today.

The maritime unit was continuing to search for the boat.

In Coromandel and Bay of Plenty up to 150mm of rain could accumulate between this afternoon and Sunday morning, while similar amounts were forecast for Nelson and the West Coast.

MetService warned of slips and surface flooding.

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Photo: For RNZ by Claire Eastham-Farrelly

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