- Record heavy rain strikes - month-fall levels in 24 hours
- Hundreds of people are without power in Auckland due to weather-related outage
- Heavy rain has caused a number of houses to flood across Auckland, mainly in the eastern suburbs.
- Flooding and slips cause traffic havoc
- What's in store next? Stay with us through the day
Hundreds of residents are without power and homes and streets are flooded as torrential rain continues to lash the north of the country this morning.
A person is trapped in a car filling with water on Alfriston Ardmore Rd. The flooding is currently up to the steering wheel and the fire service is on the way to rescue the occupant.
Fire crews in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty were kept busy overnight, with the fire service receiving 153 weather-related calls between 6pm and 6am.
They've been dealing with flooded houses, basements and garages.
More than 100 of the pleas for help came from the Auckland region.
Problems first started cropping up in east Auckland, with flooding in Howick and Beachlands and then moving to Otara, Otahuhu, Manurewa and Papatoetoe.
In most cases firefighters have diverted water away from people's homes and garages by unblocking drains, and they've sucked water from carpets in some homes.
Some Coromandel and Waihi residents also reported flooding on the roads.
Several highways and main roads are closed this morning, including State Highway 26 between Kopu and Paeroa and State Highway 26A from Kopu to Hikuai.
Two sections of State Highway 25, between Whangamata and Tairua and 309 Rd and Wade Rd - have also been cordoned off.
One lane is open on East Coast Rd between Kaiaua and Miranda, but Hikuai Settlement Rd in Pauanui is closed.
About 200 festival goers were evacuated in the wee hours from Sundaise Festival at Dickey Flat, just out of Waihi.
Emergency services arrived there just after midnight and about 800 attendees are still at the site.
About 60 of the evacuees are staying at the Waihi Salvation Army Hall, where Hauraki Civil Defence staff are looking after them.
Locals are providing others with shelter in their homes and sheds and the rest have self evacuated to their own homes or are staying with family and friends.
All attendees have been accounted for and no one has been injured.
Police said members of the public should staŷ away from the area until daylight when authorities will assess the flooding.
Cellphone coverage is poor and the Hauraki District Council said concerned families and friendsshould call after hours service on 07 862 860 if they're worried about a loved one in the area.
Forecasters are warning of more record levels of rainfall today, leaving parts of the North Island awash.
Hundreds are without power in Auckland, a house has been left perched above a huge slip on Waiheke Island and surface flooding has hit parts of the city.
Overnight, a mini tornado struck near Whangaparaoa while water poured into residents homes as the deluge continues.
Between 5pm and 6pm, Auckland tied its wettest March hour on record with 27.6mm of rain.
Civil Defence planning and intelligence manager Keith Hamish said up to 50mm of rain had already fallen last night on Waiheke Island and near the Waitakere Ranges.
There were slips in Waiheke and Kawakawa Bay, and a number of flooding incidents in central Auckland.
Two vehicles had been rescued from Portland Rd in Remuera and video emerged of a man wake boarding behind a vehicle in floodwaters.
Others had been spotted kayaking in a stormwater drain on Botany Rd in Howick.
The reported 'mini-tornado' ripped through Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa, sending a trampoline flying.
Brian Crescent resident Jil O'Brien was putting her children to bed when the rain suddenly became heavy and the wind slammed a window shut about 7.15pm.
"It lifted the trampoline from the neighbour's house and brought it crashing down the side of our house.
"It damaged a few trees and brought the fence down."
O'Brien said the weather event, being described by residents as a 'mini-tornado', frightened her children.
Residents from nearby Vipond Rd also reported that the sudden bout of wind and rain lifted some big trees in the area.
WeatherWatch.co.nz issued an alert for Auckland City and region between 7.30pm and 9pm warning of localised surface and flash flooding, and a high risk of flooding in low to medium streams and waterways.
Drivers were warned to take extreme care and avoid driving until after 10pm.
Although there was a momentary break from the wild weather later last night, heavy rain was again striking regions this morning.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff tweeted a photo of flooded Clevedon River last night, saying he will be "out with Civil Defence at first light to check on damage and help needed."
Flooding has been reported in some suburbs, as downpours continue this morning.
Auckland resident Paul Rostron cycled through knee-deep water in Ellerslie this afternoon.
He witnessed several cars backed up near the overbridge on Walpole St, as deep floodwater swamped the road. A number of vehicles attempted to drive through the water but became stuck, some needing to be towed out.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Rostron who watched on as members of the public tried to direct traffic.
Severe downpours hit the North Island yesterday for the second time this week, bringing torrential rain and flooding, causing power outages, slips and road closures.
An ambulance and its crew had to be rescued from severe floodwaters in the Coromandel last night.
A St John spokeswoman said the ambulance was towed after becoming trapped by flooding on 309 Rd, towards Whitianga.
There were no patients in the ambulance.
The Warriors' game in Auckland and the Chiefs-Hurricanes Super Rugby match in Hamilton were played in dire conditions last night.
Northland residents have self-evacuated and one family is reportedly trapped by floodwaters.
In Auckland hundreds are without power and trains have reportedly been stopped on the tracks near Glen Innes.
Wet weather has caused a number of events to be cancelled or postponed.
A cliff is slipping into the ocean beneath a house on Waiheke Island.
Far North Civil Defence spokesperson Bill Hutchinson said a family was reportedly trapped by floodwaters up the flood-prone Waiomio Valley, just south of Kawakawa, but emergency services were unable to reach them.
Some residents in the area had self-evacuated to Mohinui Marae.
The Kawakawa Fire Brigade brought in an inflatable boat in case they had to mount a rescue overnight but Hutchinson said water levels were dropping.
Kaeo River began flooding State Highway 10 just before 6pm.
MetService issued severe weather warnings across the top of the country as three distinct bands of rain would pass over Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Whakatane and Gisborne between 4pm yesterday and 4am today.
The MetService have warned that the Kauaeranga spillway may need to be activated again if the river reaches 10m. This could close State Highway 25 south of Thames.
There had already been 66mm of rain recorded at the Pinnacles three hours last night, causing the river level to rise to over 9m.
Another 60m to 90mm of rain could accumulate by 10am today.
Periods of heavy rain are expected to ease this morning in the area before further showers are expected tomorrow, especially in the morning.
The Northern Fire Service responded to several calls of water coming into people's homes through basements and ceilings in east Auckland, Silverdale, Waiheke and Whangamata.
Northern Fire Service shift manager Megan Ruru said fire crews were attempting to divert the water.
"Because of the amount of water, there is not a lot we can do."
The wild weather also stretched volunteer fire brigades with Kerikeri and Rawene particularly busy dealing with flooded homes, downed trees, blocked drains and crashes.
The weather also wreaked travel havoc in Auckland, including leaving commuters stranded after trains reportedly stopped on the tracks around Glen Innes.
Auckland resident Daman Singh said his daughter rang him to say she had been stuck on a train for 15 minutes.
"The trains are waiting to get the water cleared but the weather is getting worse so I don't think it's going to be clear very soon."
Auckland Transport advised commuters to use Southern line services and transfer to a rail shuttle between Penrose platform 3 and Onehunga.
Hundreds of Aucklanders are without power and even more are being warned of potential outages as more torrential rain sets in.
Wet weather caused a power pole to spark, cutting electricity to 823 homes in Glen Eden, west Auckland yesterday afternoon.
Maraetai residents were also affected by the weather, which caused a power outage to 368 homes. Power was later restored in the area.
A Vector spokesperson said the company was expecting a number of power outages as heavy downpours kicked in overnight and had been working with Civil Defence to prepare for the severe weather.
Vector crews were working to restore power to homes in Glen Eden, Silverdale and Torbay but are facing heavy rain and in some areas wind gusts.
Crews are unable to restore power in Kawakawa Bay which is inaccessible due to flooding.
Flooding and slippages have caused damage on the electricity network with poles slipping, trees down on lines, and a flooded transformer.
A Vector spokesperson said they are expecting more outages overnight and were working with Civil Defence to keep residents informed of any issues.
Crews and storm management teams are on standby.
Vector has reminded people to stay away from damaged electrical equipment and report issues via their phone line 0508 Vector.
The weather has also taken its toll on the Far North's power network. This morning 600 households were without power, mainly in Oue, Waimamaku and Horeke in South Hokianga.
Power was restored to all but 60 households by 4pm.
A Top Energy linemen had to call in police when a hostile landowner refused to allow them access to damaged lines in the Wekaweka Valley.
More outages are expected overnight.
Northpower public affairs manager Steve Macmillan said the company had extra crews and an arborist on standby overnight.
"We have concerns about land slips causing poles to fall and trees falling on lines.
"People should stay well clear and keep animals clear of any fallen lines."
Upper North Island residents are also being warned of phone and internet outages.
More heavy rain kicked in again around midnight and a third band started striking about 4am.
People on the East Coast should prepare to be slammed by more huge downpours.
Civil Defence urged Northlanders to keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts as MetService predicted another 100mm-130mm rain for the north in the 21 hours through to 6am today.
MetService has also forecast peak intensities of 25mm per hour or possibly more in thunderstorms over that period.
Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group spokeswoman Victoria Randall said the latest rainfall figures provided by Northland Regional Council showed that up to 210mm of rain had fallen in the upper Waitangi River near Lake Omapere since 6am on Tuesday.
The figures also showed 208mm of rain had fallen in the eastern hills above Kaeo, 189mm near Houhora and in the eastern hills above Ngunguru, since Tuesday.
River and stream levels in the region are being monitored closely, with special attention being paid to the Kaeo, Waitangi, Whakapara and Mangakahia rivers. There are risks of flash flooding in some areas caused by heavy, localised thunderstorms.
There has already been flooding on State Highway 10 at the bottom of the Bulls Gorge south of Kerikeri, causing hundreds of vehicles to back up in either direction around 3pm today. A single police officer attempted to control the chaos.
Randall said it is very likely that State Highway 10 just north-east of Kaeo would flood with last night's high tide about 7pm.
"Conditions are still fairly hazardous for driving and people need to be aware of the possibility of surface and localised flooding so please take care, only travel if necessary and keep informed before you leave.
"There are number of ways you can do this including options such as the AA Roadwatch website, local radio or social media."
Civil Defence was also warning farmers to move stock to higher ground if they have any concerns.
Yesterday, two properties in Whangamata were deemed uninhabitable, with Civil Defence engineers assessing structural damage to properties that have been reported as "at-risk".
Civil Defence controller Garry Towler said two Whangamata properties are currently uninhabitable and another 10 are being assessed by experts.
Road closures as well as internet and power outages are also being reported.
The top half of the North Island is seeing a number of faults across the Chorus network.
In Whangamata, the core fibre damaged in a slip on Wednesday has been repaired, restoring broadband and voice services to customers of all but one of the Chorus roadside cabinets in the area. Work is under way to repair a secondary fibre that will restore broadband and voice services to customers served by the final street cabinet. That is expected to be completed today.
In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, Chorus apologised to customers who may have lost phone or internet services, with the company saying it was working with its service companies in the regions to safely restore services.
Thames-Coromandel District Council alerted people to a number of road closures.
The Whangamata bypass, SH25 Harry Watt Rd to Port Rd, is closed in both directions while Whangamata's Avalon Rd is also closed due to slips. Contractors are trying to clear the situation.
The Kauaeranga Valley Rd is closed from the Kauaeranga Visitor centre upwards. All camping, hut and walking tracks are inaccessible.
"We're also doing some urgent repairs to a pipe which supplies water to Whangamata," Civil Defence controller Garry Towler said.
"This is our priority at the moment as the pipe has moved due to subsidence from the flooding over the past few days. We've got earthmoving machines in stabilising the pipe and this will take the afternoon to fix. We have a back-up supply, so people don't need to worry about their water supply."
The Kerikeri fire brigade was called out four times in less than half an hour on Thursday, starting at 12.35pm when rainwater brought down part of the ceiling in a Kemp Rd home. All four calls were weather related.
One of the worst-hit businesses was the Soundlounge in Kerikeri, Northland's only independent record store, where on Thursday afternoon water from an overflowing gutter entered the ceiling cavity and gushed into the shop, damaging thousands of dollars' worth of stock.
The heavy rain forced the cancellation of the first day of the biennial Te Ahuareka o Ngati Hine Festival yesterday, which normally brings thousands of people to Otiria Marae near Moerewa.
A concert last night featuring Fat 32, Huaki Puanaki, Ruia Aperahama, Russell Harrison and Troy Kingi was going ahead as planned, however. Organisers are due to make a decision about day two of the festival, which celebrates everything related to the Ngati Hine iwi, first thing today.