Cyclone Cook is smashing down on Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty tonight.

• Up to 300mm expected in Bay of Plenty in next 48 hours.
• Over 2000 homes across the Western Bay of Plenty have lost power in the storm.
• Regional state of emergency in place as water pumped from flooded Edgecumbe.
• Access to areas of Edgecumbe hit by last week's floods suspended because of the incoming weather.
• Roads across the Western Bay of Plenty have been closed including Grenada St between Sandhurst and Hibiscus, SH2 between Paengaroa and Matata, Tuapiro Rd, Rocky Cutting Rd, Te Puna Station Rd and Old Coach Rd - before Maniatutu.
• 57 schools in the region closed, plus kura and early learning centres.
• Edgecumbe residents will be alerted to evacuations with sirens from fire stations and emergency services vehicles.

Metservice meteorologist Brian Mercer said over the past 24 hours, 81 mm of rain had fallen at Tauranga Airport while 56mm had fallen on the Kaimai Ranges.

But the wild weather would continue for the next few hours bring more heavy wind.


In Whakatane, wind gusts had reached over 100km/h and had been increasing over the last hour. In Tauranga, they had reached 85km/h.

He said the next three to four hours would bring the worst of the storm and by midnight things would ease off.

Emergency services were stretched, evacuating residents, responding flooding and road closures.

Bay of Plenty Coastal assistant area manager Kevin Cowper said fire crews were flat out responding to calls throughout the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty.

"We're dealing with flooding, slips and trees down, those sorts of things."

There were reports of some homes in the region being flooded but Edgecumbe, the site of a devastating flood last week, appeared to be coping with the storm.

However, call-outs in that area could increase as the storm headed southward, he said.

The advice to residents was to "stay safe:" during the storm.


People living in low-lying houses should self-evacuate if they had any concerns for the safety, Mr Cowper said.

There were power surges throughout Tauranga and power was cut in areas across the region.

Video: Tara Childs

Over 750 homes in Welcome Bay had lost power, 130 in Te Puke and Pongakawa, 170 in Waihi, 180 on Matakana Is and 670 across the Tauranga and Te Puna region.

The Tauranga Airport was closed for all flights until further noticed.

Surface flooding had started to accumulate on main roads including Elizabeth St and Takitimu Dr.

Residents across the region say rain is easing after heavy downpours caused flooding in parts of Tauranga.

Bayfair resident Elanor Mathews said floodwaters had entered her home.

"There has been some flooding at the back door and come through into my laundry. I have three sets of towels to try and mop it up."

The water was about an inch deep.

The storm appeared to have eased, with little rain and wind gusts dying down.

Papamoa resident Debbie Miles said her house never flooded but they currently had about an inch deep worth of water all over their Wairakei Av home.

"It's draining and running off but falling quicker than it's draining. Nothing too serious here rain wise, but the wind sounds nasty."

A long-term Links Ave resident said there was surface flooding in the area.

The street was prone to flooding, but she was not aware of any homes being flooded tonight.

Water was lapping up her driveway each time a car drove by, she said

There were deep pools of water around the Spur Rd and Links Ave area, but the rain appeared to be subsiding.

She prepared for the worst after reading news reports of the cyclone, which appeared to have caused less damage than a tornado that tore through the area two years ago.

The tornado blew a neighbour's shed over the top of their house and sent a tool box and paint crashing living room.

"That caused a lot of damage", she said.