Flooding in Bay of Plenty as rains continue

By Bay of Plenty Times, APNZ

Surface flooding could occur, the MetService warns. Photo / File photo
Surface flooding could occur, the MetService warns. Photo / File photo

Wild weather battering the western Bay of Plenty sunk a launch, caused roads to flood and knocked down trees and powerlines.

The 35-foot launch, which was moored near the Omokoroa boat ramp, sank today after taking on water.

The wind and rain also caused chaos on the roads.

A pine tree toppled down a bank, blocking the south lane of Pyes Pa Rd.

The wind also blew down powerlines at Papamoa and delayed operations at the Port of Tauranga.

This latest bout of stormy weather comes just a week after heavy rain caused landslips and flooding, forcing the closure of Karangahape Gorge - part of State Highway 2 from Papamoa to Tauranga - and Athenree Gorge.

Katikati business owners spent today bracing for a repeat of the flooding they had earlier this month but by this afternoon the risk of flooding had lessened.

Metservice forecaster Daniel Corbett said there was 68mm of rain in the Kaimai Ranges between 3pm Sunday and 3pm today.

Tauranga Airport recorded 42.8mm in the same period of time.

MetService has issued a number of watches and warnings for central and northern New Zealand as a deep and active low sits over the country for much of the week.

The northern half of the North Island could experience active thunderstorms for the next day, while a slow-moving frontal band would bring heavy rain to the eastern regions of both islands, MetService spokesman Daniel Corbett said.

"This weather system will have quite a bit of punch to it, and it will linger across central and northern New Zealand for several days,'' he said.

Periods of rain would spread to the South Island today, and would remain until the middle of the week.

Strong to severe gales, mostly in the far south, were possible.

Snow would fall to 1000m in the South Island, Mr Corbett said.

The wild weather, which started yesterday, saw 100mm of rain fall in the Coromandel area in 24 hours and emergency services received several reports of trees falling as a result of high winds buffeting Auckland.

Up to 200 properties were without power last night in the west Auckland suburb of Glen Eden, thought to have been caused by a tree falling on power lines.

WeatherWatch forecaster Aaron Wilkinson said the low would start to ease on Wednesday and would continue to weaken heading into the weekend.

Overnight lows could be above average, he said, while daytime highs could be slightly above average.

The upper parts of the North Island could have highs in the late teens, and overnight lows in the double digits.


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