Severe flooding swamps Taranaki; Parihaka

By Will Trafford

Floodwaters have engulfed Taranaki and Parihaka triggering a severe weather warning from the MetService  Video. / Imogen Quigley / Kayla O'Connor / Kade Bellve / Julie-Anne Mowat via NZME

Severe flooding and rain has drenched Taranaki & Parihaka Papakāinga and forced the closure of State Highway 45 between Okato and Opunake.

MetService issued a heavy rain warning for the region Saturday, as part of an ongoing weather system wreaking havoc across much of the motu; a state of emergency was declared for the West Cost of Te Waipounamu on Wednesday.

In footage posted on Facebook floodwaters can be seen engulfing Rahotu School, while videos from Parihaka show the main bridge and roads underwater.

‘The bridge is washed out, flooding is pretty bad here at Parihaka’ wrote local Ngahina Hohaia.

The heavy rain saw horse races at New Plymouth canned on Saturday with another meet at Hāwera called off today.

MetService says the deluge came from the west Friday evening, hitting the rohe ahead of the rest of the North Island; 428mm of rain fell between 8am Saturday and 10am Sunday with lighter rains expected to continue through Monday.