The extreme weather from Cyclone Cook is set to batter most of the country. Here are the latest updates, region by region:
• The MetService has issued a heavy rain warning for Northland where 110-150mm of rain is expected, especially in the east. Rainfall rates of 30-40mm an hour and thunderstorms possible.
• State Highway 1 through the Mangamuka Gorge south of Kaitaia is now open to one lane. State Highway 10 near Kaeo is open again after flooding closed it this morning.
• Kerikeri had 75.8mm of rain in two hours late Wednesday evening, more than half the amount of rain normally received during all of April.
• Long queues and full buses as people working in Auckland CBD attempt to leave the city before the storm hits.
• Roads closures in west Auckland include: the intersection of Great North Rd and Clark St in New Lynn and Bethells Beach Rd between Stoney Creek and Duffy Rd.
• Closures in Warkworth: Falls Rd, near the Woodcock Rd end
• Closures in Wellsford: Days Rd, Wayby Station from SH1 to Prictor Rd, Waiteitei Rd from Farmers Lane to Silverhill Rd and Rapson Rd, Waitoki.
• In the south-east: McNicol Rd, Clevedon is open only to residents, Maraetai Coast Rd is closed, East Coast Rd is closed north of Tainui Camp and Kawakawa Coast Rd is open to residents and emergency services only.
• There are a number of rural roads which may be down to one lane or that are open with restrictions.
• Auckland University, AUT and Unitec closed.
• Severe southwest gales are expected this afternoon, including gusts of 120km/h in exposed places.
• 36.4mm of rain is forecast over the remainder of the day.
• All Gulf Harbour ferry services are replaced by bus today because of the weather. All other ferry services are operating.
• Auckland Civil Defence is warning people to postpone travel this afternoon.
• The Auckland Harbour Bridge may be closed or have restrictions put in place if the wind gets too strong.
• Cyclone Cook is gathering strength and expected to make landfall somewhere between the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Peninsula about 6pm today.
• A state of emergency declared by the Thames-Coromandel District Council as it braces for the cyclone.
• People living on the Coromandel coast are being evacuated to higher ground as the cyclone threatens extensive flooding.
• The Tapu River on Coromandel Peninsula is close to breaching its banks.
• Waves of up to 5m on Coromandel's east coast are expected, which could cause coastal inundation, especially in low-lying areas near rivers and streams that are flood-prone at high tides when there is heavy rain.
• People are advised to avoid visiting Coromandel until at least Saturday.
• Thames Valley Civil Defence has welfare teams on standby in Whitianga, Whangamata, Tairua, Pauanui, Coromandel Town and Thames, should they be needed.
• Slips have closed SH25 on the western side of Coromandel but it is open at Pumpkin Hill on the eastern side of the peninsula despite a washout.
Eastern Bay of Plenty (Edgecumbe/Whakatane)
• Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne has told Newstalk ZB that he wants residents on beachfront properties in Ohope and Opotiki to self-evacuate.
• SH2 at Edgecumbe closed because of flooding.
• Following last week's Edgecumbe flooding, the Whakatane district residents are being warned to be ready to evacuate.
• Air New Zealand flights into Tauranga suspended.
• Cyclone Cook is gathering strength and expected to make landfall somewhere between the Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel Peninsula about 6pm today.
• Periods of rain, some heavy falls, localised downpours and possible thunderstorms. Severe gales for a time this afternoon or evening.
• Rubbish collections are being called off in the Bay of Plenty. Tauranga City Council has postponed today's collections to Sunday.
• Flooding in the Karangahake Gorge, SH2, has partially blocked the eastbound lane.
• ASB Bank's Bay of Plenty, Bayfair, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, Cameron Road and Papamoa branches are closed for the rest of the day.
• Bay of Plenty senior club rugby games scheduled for tonight and tomorrow have been postponed, to ensure the safety of teams and referees.
• Rotorua District Court has closed for the day. All cases scheduled to be heard this afternoon have been rescheduled.
• The Ministry of Education have advised police that they have recommended to all early childhood centres in the Taupo and Rotorua area to close today as a precaution.
• The Metservice is predicting easterlies, severe gales from afternoon with gusts 140km/h, eases at night.
• 23.3mm of rain is predicted over the remainder of the day with 17.1mm of that expected between 6pm and 8pm.
• Hamilton Zoo will close early today to prepare for Cyclone Cook.
• Waikato Civil Defence is urging employees to let workers finish early in order to get home before #CycloneCook hits
• Weather disruptions are causing flight delays and cancellations.
• Periods of rain, heavy at times. The Metservice has predicted 21.8mm of rain between now and 6pm tomorrow.
• Southerlies, rising to severe gales this evening, gusting 140km/h, turning northwest at night.
• Heavy rain is expected to hit at midnight and continue through tomorrow and in to Saturday. Tomorrow, 59.8mm of rain is predicted.
• The Metservice is predicting 42.1mm of rain between 6pm and 2pm tomorrow.
• Average wind speeds are expected to be above 20km/h for most of tomorrow.
• The brunt of the storm will be felt tomorrow.