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All Auckland roads have been re-opened and power is being restored as the recovery begins from 72 hours of storms that have battered the North Island.

Auckland Civil Defence controller Clive Manley said building inspectors had been sent to properties in Herald Island, Maraetai and other flood affected areas this morning.

They would be doing damage assessments and working out the cost of repairs, he said.

"We're transitioning from response into recovery mode. It's about looking to clean up what mother natures has thrown at us in the last 72 hours."

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Mr Manley did not have an estimate of how much the flood could cost the Auckland region.

Emergency Call Centres were still active and would be continuing to monitor the weather throughout today, he said.

Vector spokeswoman Phillipa White said 294 customers on Kawau Island who have been without power since last night may have to prepare for a "prolonged outage".

Lines technicians could not get to the island until this morning because of heavy weather, she said.

Power was restored on Waiheke Island at 5.43am after an outage affecting 1000 customers at 4.37am. An outage affecting 46 customers at Whangateau was fixed at 10.17am.

MetService said the deep low that hit the North Island over the weekend was now weakening, but warned of gale force winds and heavy rain as it moved east today.

Forecaster Mark Pascoe predicted southwest winds rising to gale force late this morning about Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula and northern Waikato.

The winds could cause damage to loose structures, he said.

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MetService has also issued a severe weather warning for Hawkes Bay, which is expected to be hit by a heavy burst of 20-30mm of rain between 11am and 4pm.

All other heavy rain warnings have been lifted.

Between 100-300mm of rain fell in the space of 24 hours and the Fire Service was called to 184 weather-related incidents in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday.

Of those, 101 callouts were in the Auckland area.

The areas worst-affected by flooding were the lower central business district and eastern suburbs, Maraetai, Leigh, parts of State Highway 16, SH1, Tamaki Drive and Herald Island, where 30 homes were flooded.

Rivers and lakes

A warning about rising river and lake levels has been issued despite rain easing through Waikato and the Central North Island.

Waikato Civil Defence duty officer Adam Munro said Lake Taupo and the Waipa and Waikato Rivers were expected to peak on Tuesday and Wednesday.

That could put riverside areas underwater, he said.

But he retracted an earlier projection the damage would match a 2004 flood which put low-lying rural areas around Otorohanga, Huntly and Gordonton under water for several days.

"Up until this morning, we were preparing for a fairly significant flood but with the rain easing we are now looking at a better picture," Mr Munro said.

"Even so, people need to be aware the very low-lying riverside walks through Hamilton, Ngaruawahia and Huntly are likely to be swamped over the next few days as the flood peak moves through the system."

Mr Munro said Waikato communities could expect only a short reprieve as another subtropical system is being forecast for the region next weekend.

Waikato Civil Defence duty officer Greg Ryan yesterday said there was a risk of rivers flooding in Coromandel, Hauraki Plains and Taupo over the next three days.

About 300 people were evacuated from a Taupo campground yesterday morning. Flood advisory notices were issued warning those close to rivers and lakes to prepare for rising levels for another two days.

Lake Taupo increased 2cm in an hour yesterday and was continuing to rise.

Eastern Bay of Plenty rivers reached warning levels over the weekend but had now begun to recede, Bay of Plenty Regional Council community relations manager Bronwyn Campbell said.

Council staff had worked through the night monitoring pumps and sites prone to flooding, she said.

Several roads in the area remain closed today due to surface water and river flooding.

In Rotorua, there had been some minor wastewater overflows but sewer flows were under control and being closely monitored, Rotorua District Council utilities operations manager Eric Cawte said.

"There is the possibility of contamination of some of our waterways so as a safety and health precaution we are recommending people stay well away from swollen streams and rivers," he said.

"We certainly urge people in the meantime not to swim or take fish from our waterways, or from areas where streams and rivers enter the lakes."

Hazardous roads

There had also been surface flooding and minor slips, Mr Cawte said.

Drivers were being warned to take care in the hazardous conditions with slips, surface flooding and high winds blasting the North Island.

Several roads have been closed by slips and flooding.

Click here for road updates from the NZ Transport Agency.

While the low is expected to leave by tomorrow, a new threat is approaching in the form of Tropical Cyclone Wilma. The cyclone is currently moving south in the Pacific, and could reach the North Island by Friday.

- NZPA and NZHERALD STAFF