Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

MetService issues severe weather warning for Bay as system slowly moves southwards

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A severe weather warning was put in place for the Western Bay of Plenty over the weekend. Photo/George Novak
A severe weather warning was put in place for the Western Bay of Plenty over the weekend. Photo/George Novak

Heavy rain pelted the Bay over the weekend with more than 70mm falling in Waihi and 53mm in the Kaimai Range and another 80 to 100mm expected to fall last night.

From 8pm on Friday until yesterday afternoon more than 30mm of rain had fallen in Tauranga with more than 72mm in Waihi and about 53mm in the Kaimai Range, according to the MetService.

Yesterday, a severe weather warning was issued by MetService with between 80 to 100mm expected to fall across the region between midday yesterday and 6am today.

MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn said a weather pattern was slowly moving southwards over the upper North Island preceded by easterly winds and a band of rain.

"Heavy rain about Coromandel Peninsula and the Western Bay of Plenty is expected to spread southwards to the Gisborne region tonight, and although it should ease in the north around dawn om Monday it will likely continue into Tuesday morning about Gisborne."

The heavy rain was expected to cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly and may cause slips and surface flooding.

Ms Flynn said the wet weather was going to continue most of the week with highs of between 16C to 18C, she said.

"Although it is going to be a pretty damp week, Sunday definitely would have had the worst weather."

Police were yesterday asking motorist to avoid unnecessary travel after the weather caused a slip on State Highway 2 in the Karangahake Gorge which caused significant delays.

Farmland between Whiritoa (13km south of Whangamata) and Opoutere (about 10km north of Whangamata) was flooded as was the Wentworth Valley and Whangamata Golf course.

Emergency services were also called to help multiple drivers around the Coromandel after they became stuck trying to drive through floodwaters.

State Highway 25 was closed near the intersection of Hikuai Settlement Road due to flooding, and no diversions into Pauanui were available. There was also a slip on State Highway 3 and many other roads were flooded, including Kopu-Hikuai Rd and the Kauaeranga Valley Road.

Police remind motorists to exercise caution during the wet weather by keeping speeds down, maintaining a safe following distance and avoiding driving through any flooded areas.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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