Flash floods roll through Auckland

By Paul Harper, Hayden Donnell, Matthew Theunissen

Parts of Auckland were hit by surface flooding this afternoon, as a severe thunderstorm rolled through the region.

The Fire Service was inundated with more than 150 calls over a few hours this afternoon, mostly from central and west Auckland and the North Shore, but also from Waihi to the east.

Most of the reports were for surface flooding, and several business had to shut shop for the day while rain poured through damaged roofs.

One was central Auckland strip club Calendar Girls where the upstairs section was flooded and water trickled through the ceiling to the downstairs bar.

Hobson St in central Auckland was closed about noon after high winds lifted a section of roof.

MetService issued a severe thunderstorm for Auckland, Manukau, Waitakere, and North Shore cities and Franklin and Rodney, as the slow-moving front passed over the north of the country. WeatherWatch warned of possible tornadoes.

Rain was forecast for Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Rotorua throughout today, Gisborne from this afternoon through to tomorrow morning and Hawkes Bay overnight and tomorrow.

Strong northeasterlies were also expected to precede the passing front, with possible gales for Auckland, Waikato and Waitomo.

Heavy rain in Northland eased this morning.

Police said this evening that State Highway 2 at Katikati was closed northbound due to flooding.

The only route north was via Tauranga on SH29.

WeatherWatch said conditions would be mild tomorrow at the top of the country.

Through central New Zealand there would be a combination of wind, cloud and some rain or showers - but a repeat of Auckland's dramatic flooding today was not expected in other main centres through central New Zealand, WeatherWatch analyst Philip Duncan said.

Further south, the AA reported icy road conditions on State Highway 6 and 8 around the Otago region and the Queenstown Lakes district.

NZTA advised caution on Milford Road and State High 1 from Balclutha to Dunedin due to ice.

WeatherWatch said Southland and Otago would spend another day mostly in single digits after more severe frosts, but blue skies were also likely for most centres except in the east where some cloud was likely.

Check out the MetService's rain radar for Auckland

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