Key Points:

  • Rain will continue to fall over most of the North Island today as the storm crosses central New Zealand
  • Authorities remain on high alert for flooding on western beaches as storm surges swell king tides
  • More than 20,000 households and businesses across the North Island are without power this morning including 9000 in Coromandel and 12,000 in Auckland

Powerful winds and torrential rain continue to wreak havoc as a two-day storm tracks south across New Zealand, and forecasters warn more fury is in store today.

The monster storm, packed with destructive 120km/h gales and tropical-fuelled rain, sparked more than 100 calls for help across the North Island overnight.

Two lanes are blocked on Auckland's Northern Motorway due to flooding.

Advertisement

The New Zealand Transport agency said the southbound lanes near Esmonde Rd were closed.

"Delays are back to Northcote Rd. Please avoid the area and consider using SH16/SH18."

Hurricane-strength winds lifted roofs and toppled trees and powerlines overnight, and intense downpours have flooded homes across the island.

The storm is now tracking south, causing problems for the lower half of the North Island.

MetService says the rain will continue for most the North Island today and be worst for central and lower regions where the low is forecast to track.

Auckland motorists on Tamaki Dr before it was closed due to surface flooding. Photo / Greg Bowker
Auckland motorists on Tamaki Dr before it was closed due to surface flooding. Photo / Greg Bowker

Gales are expected to turn west north of Manawatu today with another bout of strong winds with gusts of up to 120km/h.

There is now concern for flooding on the western coastlines as king tides and towering 6m waves slam the island today.

Last night's king tide left Auckland's main waterfront road linking the city to eastern suburbs in waist-deep water.

Tamaki Drive in Auckland has been closed due to flooding.

And firefighters helped move campers at Mawley Holiday Park in Masterton after a nearby river threatened to sweep away their tent.

In Napier, Hastings, Levin and Raumati, trees and powerlines have come down across roads, roofs are lifting and homes flooding.

Many parts of Auckland have been without power overnight.

Campers left holiday hotspots in the Coromandel early after authorities warned they could be trapped by floodwaters. Photo / Alan Gibson.
Campers left holiday hotspots in the Coromandel early after authorities warned they could be trapped by floodwaters. Photo / Alan Gibson.

The electricity lines company has activated its storm response plan with thousands without power overnight. At 6am, 21 problem spots stretched across Auckland from Mangawhai to Whitford, including Waiheke Island.

The storm is expected to sweep across the lower North Island before hitting northern and eastern regions of the South Island today and clearing the country tomorrow.