Storm floods Northland, over 250mm of rain in 24 hrs

updated By Te Ao - Māori News
Flooding in Rangiahua, Northland - Source / Kevin Donelley

Northland has been hit by a once in a 500 hundred year storm bringing heavy rainfall and flooding overnight and causing some residents to have to evacuate their homes.

Flooding in Moerewa - Video / Diane Heta

The MetService says there were "some incredible rain totals" across Northland, with several areas exceeding 250mm of rain in 24 hours. In Kaikohe, for example, it says 56.8mm fell in in just one hour and more than 150mm in four hours at Whangarei Aero. 

The MetService's Alwyn Bakker told the NZ Herald it was an unprecedented event. 

"We see this kind of thing once in every 500 years," Bakker said. 

Flooding in Moerewa - Video / Diane Heta

The Whangarei District Council issued an urgent notice to residents Saturday morning to conserve water due to the impact of the heavy rain, indicating some residents were without water. 

"Please conserve water immediately. Two of our water treatment plants have been temporarily closed due to the rainfall intensity." 

The MetService says rain is now easing in the North but advises that thunderstorms may still affect the region.

Farmland flooding between Hikurangi and Kawakawa SH1 - Video / Mana Wikaire-Lewis

It has cancelled its severe weather warnings for Northland and Gisborne but has issued a new severe watch for rain for the Hawke's Bay ranges until early Saturday evening.

Flooding in Moerewa - Photo / Diane Heta

Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare says the government is on standby to assist communities across Northland, Tairawhiti and Coromandel following extensive flooding overnight.

“I’ve spoken to the local Mayors and understand the most important message this morning is to stay off the roads and avoid unnecessary travel so that emergency services can provide assistance to those most in need.”

View from the north side of Rangiahua - Video / Kevin Donelley

Henare says options are being looked at to enable him to visit the region to assess how best the government can support the communities.

“As damage assessments take place this morning, I am considering options for travelling to the region to see where the government can best support local communities during this time.”

Flooding in Moerewa - Photo / Diane Heta