A dog died in its kennel after lightning struck a rural Te Puke property during a thunderstorm this morning.

The thunderstorm struck between 4am and 5am, and while the rain has since eased forecasters say it is expected to continue and be heavy at times throughout the day, bringing the risk of flooding.

The council has had several calls about blocked drains, and police were earlier called to a car vs tree on Takatimu Dr as well as flooding on Pyes Pa Rd and a collapsed bank on Belk Rd in Omanawa.

Residents across Tauranga and the Western Bay have reported being woken by loud thunder crashes and bright lightning flashes this morning.

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Te Puke firefighters were called to a house on No. 3 Rd at 5am to a report of a smell of electrical burning.

Fire and Emergency northern communications shift commander Scott Osmond said they arrived to find a tree had been struck by lightning and had fallen into the corner of the house, damaging it.

Firefighter Tupaea Rolleston said they evacuated the house while they checked the electrical system with a thermal imaging camera.

Nothing was amiss and the family were allowed back in.

Sadly, however, they found a dog had been electrocuted in its kennel, Rolleston said.

"It was devastating for the family."

ROTORUA DAILY POST
28 Apr, 2018 1:30pm
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MetService meteorologist Ciaran Doolin said around 230 lightning strikes hit the Bay of Plenty overnight, plus 50 in the Coromandel District.

Doolin said rain in the Bay of Plenty peaked between 4am and 5am, when Tauranga received 21mm and Whakatane was hit by a 38mm downpour.

He said a severe weather warning remained in place for Tauranga and the rain was expected to continue through to 3am on Monday, and would be heavy at times.

Another 60 to 90mm could accumulate on top of the 55mm received in the 24 hours to 9am.

MetService had not ruled out further thunderstorms, Doolin said.

There were risks of flooding, rapidly rising rivers and hazardous driving conditions.

Osmond said lighting strikes from the dawn thunderstorm also set off fire alarms in several commercial and public buildings around the Western Bay of Plenty.

Firefighters from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui were sent to check the buildings.

Firefighters in Waihi had responded to multiple callouts for flooded homes, Osmond said.

Flooded fields around a home in Bell Rd near Papamoa. Photo supplied/Renee Knudsen
Flooded fields around a home in Bell Rd near Papamoa. Photo supplied/Renee Knudsen

A Tauranga City Council spokeswoman said the council had received six reports of flooding in the district by 7.15am.

She confirmed that Hewletts Rd had not been closed, in spite of reports to the contrary, but said council contractors had been called to deal with blocked drains and sumps in the vicinity of Cameron Rd.

There was floodwater on Pyes Pa Rd at the Tautau Stream Bridge, between Oropi Rd and Williams Rd about 9.30am. Police said the southbound lane was affected.

There was also flooding at the corner of Esk Rd and Fraser St.

Readers have sent in photos of flooded paddocks in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Wendy Taylor said flooding in fields near her home in Maniatutu Rd in Pongakawa was the worst she had seen in 11 years.

"There is normally no water."

Mahara Ley sent a photo of her toppled aviary in the lower Kaimais.

Renee Knudsen said paddocks around her home in Bell Rd, near Papamoa, were also heavily flooded.