Advice for Aucklanders following severe rain and flooding

By Jessica Tyson
A car was carried away by flood waters as occupants clung to the side amid torrential downpours in Tāmaki Makaurau. Video / Facebook

Auckland residents are being advised to stay home and avoid driving through floodwaters following severe rain on Friday.

It comes after a state of emergency was declared across the region on Friday night, with Auckland airport closed and State Highway 1 restricted.

Auckland Emergency Management duty controller Andrew Clark says Friday was Auckland’s wettest day on record.

“We understand Aucklanders will be anxious to return to their homes to survey the damage, but we urge them to do so with caution,” he says.

Clark advises people to not drive through floodwaters because hazards and debris could be lurking beneath the surface and floodwaters may be contaminated.

“If your property has been damaged, please take pictures for your insurance company and contact them as soon as you can,” he says.

Civil Defence centres

Civil Defence Centres are open in Kelston, Albany and Randwick Park, offering respite and support and community-led centres have opened up across the region and are being promoted locally.

The centre in west Auckland is located at St. Leonards Road School, 15 Saint Leonards Road, Kelston. In the north is a centre at Massey University Albany Campus, Sir Neil Walters Lecture Theatre, Massey University East Precinct, Albany Expressway SH17. In the south, there is a centre at Mana Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive, Randwick Park.

West Auckland MP and Carmel Sepuloni urged people who have evacuated their homes to go to St Leonard’s School in Kelston.

"If you’re able to, stay with family and friends if you need to evacuate otherwise this centre has been set up for those living locally who have nowhere to go."

People are advised to bring with them any essential items such as medication, warm clothing and baby items.

Cleaning up after a flood

People are being advised to clean and dry their homes and everything in them since floodwater can contain sewage and other hazardous materials that can cause contamination, says Auckland Emergency Management.

  • If your gas meter has been affected by water or debris, contact your gas supplier.
  • Always work safely when cleaning up after a flood by wearing protective clothing and washing hands thoroughly after clean-up and before handling food.
  • Keep children and animals away from previously flooded areas until they have been cleaned and made safe.
  • Take photos and videos of the damage and anything that needs to be thrown away before starting the clean-up, for insurance purposes.
  • Clean up, drain, and dry inside as quickly as possible. Take out everything that is wet and that can be moved – floor coverings, furniture, bedding, clothing, etc., and put them outside to dry when the weather is fine.
  • Throw away all food and drinking water that has come in contact with floodwater, including things stored in containers.
  • Do not eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded. Clean up and remove debris and sprinkle gardens with lime

Water supply low and wastewater networks overflowed in some locations

Auckland Emergency Management says Watercare’s water treatment plants are operating and water is safe to drink.

However, residents living in Titirangi, Woodlands Park, Oratia, Greenbay, Waima and elevated sections of Scenic Drive are likely to have no water or low water pressure for at least the next 48 hours.

“A 30-metre-long section of water pipe that ran along Scenic Drive in Titirangi was washed away with the road due to a landslide. It will be challenging to repair due to the extent of the damage and access to the site.”

Watercare is sending out water tankers to the area. Customers will be able to fill up their water bottles from the tankers.

Slip in Titirangi. Photo source: Watercare Facebook

North Shore residents to reduce water use

Residents on the North Shore are asked to reduce their water use.

“Please keep your showers short and do not use your washing machines. This is to reduce the volume of wastewater leaving your properties.”

A wastewater pump station on Wairau Road that serves several suburbs on the North Shore has been flooded. This means the pump station is overflowing into a nearby waterway.

The wastewater networks and treatment plants have been overwhelmed by stormwater, causing numerous overflows across Auckland.

Watercare is prioritising overflows that are damaging private property. Most of the clean-up activity will need to occur when the rain stops, as this is when the overflows will stop flowing.