Highways were closed, homes evacuated and a fire truck used to help medics reach an injured woman trapped by floodwaters after torrential rain hit parts of Northland yesterday.

The Mid North was worst affected with Ōhaeawai recording a huge 181mm in the 24 hours to 4pm yesterday.

The second highest tally recorded by the Northland Regional Council was at Wiroa Rd, west of Kerikeri, with 136mm, followed by Oruru, inland from Doubtless Bay, with 115mm.

Yesterday's deluge came on top of more than 150mm which had already swamped some areas in the previous 24 hours.

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Moerewa was hard hit with a number of homes and businesses flooded. And around 6.30pm last night flooding blocked Ngunguru Rd, at Glenbervie, in Whangārei.

Picnic anyone? Floodwaters rise at Kaikohe's Rawiri Taiwhanga Park. Two hours later the picnic table was entirely submerged. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Picnic anyone? Floodwaters rise at Kaikohe's Rawiri Taiwhanga Park. Two hours later the picnic table was entirely submerged. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Unfortunately for those trying to mop up, more rain is likely today before the weather starts to clear on Sunday.

The flooding started on Waimate North Rd before daybreak yesterday with at least 200m of road inundated by the Waitangi River.

By mid-afternoon the worst of the flooding had shifted to State Highway 10 with water up to 60cm deep at Waipapa and the junctions with Waimate North and Puketotara Rds.

A whirlpool forms in a Waimate North paddock as floodwater is sucked through a culvert. Photo / Peter de Graaf
A whirlpool forms in a Waimate North paddock as floodwater is sucked through a culvert. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Police closed State Highway 1 at the bottom of Turntable Hill, Moerewa, at 3.30pm after the Otiria Stream engulfed the bridge. Only large trucks were allowed through with other traffic diverted via SH11 through Paihia.

At least one family was evacuated from their home on low-lying Massey St in Moerewa and a house was reportedly flooded at the corner of SH10 and Waimate North Rd near Kerikeri.

Around 3.45pm firefighters were called to help St John ambulance staff reach an injured woman trapped by floodwaters on Tapuhi Rd, Hukerenui. It is understood she had a stick impaled through her leg.

Wairua Falls, west of Whangārei, after yesterday's heavy rain. Photo / Steve Macmillan
Wairua Falls, west of Whangārei, after yesterday's heavy rain. Photo / Steve Macmillan

The NZ Transport Agency also reported flooding on SH12 between Ōhaeawai and Kaikohe, although the road was still passable, while Te Pua Rd/SH15 between Kaikohe and Okaihau was closed for several hours.

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The rain was accompanied at times by thunderstorms, and a resident north of Taupō Bay even filmed a waterspout just offshore.

Far North District Council advised its staff to go home at 3pm while they still could.

SH10 north of Kaeo, once Northland's most notorious flooding spot, remained open.

A 200m stretch of Waimate North Rd is inundated by a flooded Waitangi River. Photo / Peter de Graaf
A 200m stretch of Waimate North Rd is inundated by a flooded Waitangi River. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Further north police and the Department of Conservation closed Te Paki Stream Rd yesterday morning after it turned into a dangerous torrent. The stream, just south of Cape Reinga, is a popular tourist route between SH1 and Ninety Mile Beach.

MetService forecaster Gerard Bellam said the most intense rain was at Kerikeri airport with 46mm in less than an hour just before 5am. Yesterday's rainfall in Kerikeri was more than the 110mm average for the entire month of July.

A large low lurking just northwest of Northland was likely to keep sending bands of heavy rain and possibly thunderstorms over the region today, with fine spells and showers expected on Sunday, Bellam said.

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The Kaipara, where level 4 water restrictions still apply in some areas, was largely bypassed by the rain with Maungaturoto recording a mere 8mm and Pouto Pt 2mm.

Whangārei's Water St recorded a modest 16mm and Marsden Pt 5mm.

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