Coromandel highway reopens but more rain is on the way

Thirty carloads of holidaymakers stranded overnight by rising floodwaters in the Coromandel have been able to move on - but more rain is on the way.

Prescott's Garages in the small settlement of Hikuai turned into an unlikely emergency relief centre yesterday as road closures trapped dozens of people heading to eastern coastal townships for the school holidays.

The water subsided enough for State Highway 25 between Tairua and Whangamata to reopen about 2pm today, however NZTA says minor flooding is still possible in the area and motorists should avoid it if possible.

The easing trend was common in much of the country today, but more rain is coming, with most areas expected to be wet until Friday.

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MetService recorded 114mm of rain in the 24 hours until 5pm today at its station east of Kopu in the Coromandel and 90mm of rain at the Pinnacles.

Multiple slips and flooding posed problems for motorists across the region with several bridges under threat as swollen rivers breach their banks.

Motorists were warned to drive with extreme caution and watch for rapidly rising waters, and debris on roads from lots of minor slips.

Rain eased in the region this afternoon but another band of rain was expected to pass through this evening and a Severe Weather Watch is still in place, MetService meteorologist Hannah Moes said.

"We're not expecting the rain to be heavy but as the ground is already saturated, it could still be significant for the region."

It had also been wet in Gisborne with one of MetService's weather stations recording 120mm in the 24 hours until 5pm.

Heavy falls are expected to ease tomorrow morning in Gisborne, but rain is likely to persist until Friday.

"New Zealand is stuck under a static weather station at the moment, meaning the weather isn't very changeable," Moes said.

"In those eastern exposed areas that means they're going to continue to get rain."

Other parts of the North Island and the South Island have also had a decent amount of rain, and more is on the way.

"Tuesday will be much the same as today; rain or showers for most places," Moes said.

"That will continue until Friday when it's expected to be clearer, with just a few showers hanging around in east and central areas."

Another trough is approaching this weekend, which could bring even more rain.

WEATHER FORECAST

Whangarei: Today: Fine breaks and a few showers, chance heavy. Light winds. High 18C. Tuesday: Cloudy periods. A few afternoon showers, chance heavy. Light winds. High 19C.
Auckland: Today: Cloudy periods, a few showers and light winds. High 18C. Tuesday: Cloudy periods. A few showers, chance heavy afternoon. Light winds. High 18C.
Hamilton: Today: Rain easing to a few showers morning. Easterlies. High 17C. Tuesday: Cloudy periods. Showers, mostly afternoon, chance heavy. Easterly. High 19C.
Thames: Today: Periods of rain, chance heavy. Gusty southeasterly. High 17C. Tuesday: Cloudy. Occasional rain, chance heavy at first. Easterly. High 17C.
Tauranga: Today: Periods of rain. Gusty southeasterlies. High 16C. Tuesday: Often cloudy with occasional rain. Easterly winds. High 17C.
Wellington: Today: Mostly cloudy, a few showers. Southeasterlies. High 14C. Tuesday: High cloud, chance shower from afternoon. Easterlies. High 16C.
Christchurch: Today: Cloudy, with drizzle at times. Northeasterly picking up. High 12C. Tuesday: Drizzle clears midday, then fine spells. Northeast. High 17C,
Dunedin: Today: Cloudy, with drizzle at times. Northeasterly picking up. High 12C. Tuesday: Drizzle clears midday, then fine spells. Northeast. High 14C.

- NZ Herald

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