Wild weather topples trees, causes flooding and slips

Changeable spring conditions are seen as a rainbow touches down in Shark Alley at Mt Maunganui today. Photo/Alan Gibson
Changeable spring conditions are seen as a rainbow touches down in Shark Alley at Mt Maunganui today. Photo/Alan Gibson

A large slip has blocked State Highway 3 in North Taranaki, flooding and slips have closed roads in Wellington and hampered the capital's World War I centenary events.

Firefighters were early this afternoon at the scene of the slip at SH3 at Mokau, just south of the bridge.

A Fire Service spokesperson said both lanes of the road are currently closed due to the size of the slip and contractors are working to get them re-opened.

As a result of the slip the New Zealand Transport Agency was asking people to avoid the area or delay their journey.

Meanwhile, earlier today, flooding and slips also closed roads in Wellington and cancelled outdoor World War I centenary events.

Cloud in the area caused a couple of flights headed for the capital last night to be diverted to Auckland with several facing minor delays today.

The rain had also put a damper on a number of events around the city, with the ceremony of remembrance to mark the centenary of WW1 in France being moved inside.

The usual Sunday brunch will likely be an indoor affair for many in the central part of the country with wet weather expected to continue till later today.

Currently Wellington was getting most of the rain, though overnight the Eastern Bay of Plenty saw the greatest amount, 71.5mm within 12 hours.

Meanwhile weather stations in other parts of the central North Island recorded between 30 to 40mm of rain within the same time period.

The MetService said the watch for heavy rain in the Bay of Plenty, Horowhenua and the Kapiti Coast had since been lifted, though the wet weather was expected to stick around the Wellington and Tasman areas.

While it didn't expect flooding to reach warning criteria, it did caution those out and about in the affected areas to take care.


MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn expected most of the rain would clear by late this afternoon into the evening.

"We are looking at scattered rain or showers across much of the North Island, though the concentration is in the central part, with heavy rain and larger accumulations," she said. "For other parts we expect some scattered rain or showers."

Wellington regional emergency management organisation on-duty officer Trevor Farmer council teams were monitoring the situation.

"The weather forecast is we are going to have this rain until lunchtime, but at the moment rivers are dropping, but dropping very slowly," he said. "I expect flooding to subside by this afternoon."

Farmer said the usual messages applied; to call 111 if the situation was life-threatening; or if it was something non-urgent and related to council space they could contact their district council.

The coastguard was also kept busy, yesterday with at least two people needing medical treatment after going out in the rough seas; one needing to be pulled from a sinking jet-ski in a Whangaparaoa bay and another was treated for head injuries after being hit by a yacht boom.

Despite the residual wet, Flynn said the worst of the weather was expected to be behind us.

Of the main centres, the capital was expected to be the wettest, with heavy falls easing to showers later in the evening accompanied by strong southerly winds. The temperature in Wellington was expected to only reach a cool 13 degrees.

While the weather wasn't as bad further north, Auckland too was getting a little bit of rain, though these were lighter with the showers expected to easy by midday, giving way to clear skies in the evening. The city of sails would reach of high of 17 degrees this afternoon.

Christchurch was the driest of the lot, with only clouds expected today with a few southerlies developing and a high of 15 degrees.

Flynn said the wet weather in the North Island wasn't unusual for this time of year.

"We've got this low that's crossing over the country. This time of year we do get these from time to time," she said. "Spring weather is often quite changeable, it just depends what kind of weather systems come our way."

MetService forecast

Today H: 17C L: 11C
Showers easing midday then clear evening

Tomorrow H: 17 C L: 8C
Becoming fine

Today H: 13C L: 9C
Rain with heavy falls today. A few showers this evening

Tomorrow H: 12C L: 7C
Mostly cloudy with a few showers


Today H: 15C L: 6C
Cloudy periods

Tomorrow H: 14C L: 4C
Often cloudy, few showers

- NZ Herald

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