Torrential rain sweeps North Island

By Tony Gee, Craig Borley

The North Island bore the brunt of a collision of weather fronts yesterday as widespread heavy rain fell from Northland to Wellington.

Flooding was reported around the country, but eastern Bay of Plenty was worst hit.

Farmers in the region were advised yesterday afternoon by Environment Bay of Plenty to move stock from low-lying areas areas near four rivers - the Waioeka, Otara, Whakatane and Waimana rivers.

Flooding and slips were reported in Northland. Ngunguru Rd near Whangarei was under water yesterday morning. An area near Fenton Rd in Rotorua was also affected.

Hills and coastal areas northeast of Whangarei and parts of central Northland took most of the heavy bursts of rain to hit the region early yesterday.

A big slip blocked Whananaki South Rd, northeast of Whangarei, closing it to traffic before road crews worked to reopen a single lane lateyesterday.

Residents were being warned last night to expect more heavy rain and thunderstorms, and the Whangarei District Council cautioned that although all roads were open, drivers needed to take care and slow down on roads with surface flooding and loose material.

MetService said last night that warnings of thunderstorms, lightning, torrential rain and gale-force winds were still in place for the top half of the North Island and western parts of both islands, although the storm had caused limited damage.

A severe weather warning issued at 6.06 last night said there would be rainfall of 30mm to 90mm today over a wide area of the northern and central North Island and the north of the South Island.

- NZPA

- NZ Herald

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