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Rain lashes Auckland, foul weather in Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Coromandel

Flooding in the Riverhead, Auckland on February 24, 2023 (NIWA Photo by Drew Lorrey-Via RNZ)

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RNZ Auckland, February 24, 2023

Three homes in the Dairy Flat area, north of Auckland, have been evacuated after torrential rainfall from this afternoon’s thunderstorms.

Auckland Civil Defence says Blackridge Road has been particularly affected.

(Audio Clip Source: RNZ)

A shelter has been opened at the Dairy Flats Community Hall on Postman Road, offering blankets, tea and coffee and food.

Earlier this afternoon, motorists in the area had to be rescued by boat after their vehicles became caught in floodwaters.

About 50 people are at the Mangawhai gold club Civil Defence centre north of Auckland tonight, caught out by heavy rain and road closures.

Text alerts have also gone out to residents in North and West Auckland to avoid unnecessary travel as thunderstorms brought localised downpours.

An alert has been sent out to West Auckland residents (Photo via RNZ)

Residents in Rodney, Helensville, Upper Harbour, Te Atatu and Henderson Valley received an emergency alert on their mobiles this evening as the rain has increased the risk of landslide and flooding. Bethells Beach, Piha, Karekare and Muriwai, which have been cut off since Cyclone Gabrielle, have also received the mobile alert.

Auckland’s Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson said that people in the above-mentioned areas should avoid all unnecessary travel.

Kaiwaka-Mangawhai Councillor Mike Howard said that the region has been experiencing thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

“We had 51 mm in an hour earlier today,” he told Checkpoint.

Areas north of Auckland were hit by the sudden torrential downpour this afternoon causing slips, road closures and surface flooding in Mangawhai, Wellsford and Te Arai.

The Police said that the intersection of State Highway 1 and Mangawhai Road is closed.

Motorists can continue north on State Highway 1 but cannot access Mangawhai Road.

Heavy rain warnings remain in place for Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and the Coromandel, with the regions bracing for more downpours this weekend.

MetService has forecast ‘the heaviest rain’ for Hawke’s Bay tomorrow (Saturday) with the risk of thunderstorms. A precautionary evacuation order was issued for people in the Esk Valley ahead of the heavy rain.

Follow the RNZ live updates:

Feb 24, 2023 6:11 AM
RNZ Live
What you need to know:
  • MetService has issued orange heavy rain warnings for Hawke’s Bay for 25 hours to 10am Saturday, Gisborne for 19 hours to 4am Saturday and Coromandel for 17 hours to 2am Saturday.
  • An evacuation order has been issued for Hawke’s Bay’s Esk Valley from 1.30pm today. Residents have been told to take clothing, essential medications and pets with them when they evacuate. Civil Defence Centres will be open for those who need somewhere to stay.
  • Severe thunderstorm watches are in place for Northland, Auckland and Great Barrier Island until 10pm Friday, and from 5pm until midnight for parts of Auckland south of Orewa and east of the Waitakere ranges, as well as for the Coromandel Peninsula and the western Bay of Plenty, from about Tauranga northwards.
  • Heavy rain is forecast for Auckland including Great Barrier Island, Waikato north of Hamilton, Bay of Plenty about and west of Te Puke, the eastern ranges of Taihape, and Wairarapa (including the Tararua District)
  • To keep up with latest severe weather warnings see the MetService website
  • Eleven people have been confirmed killed in Cyclone Gabrielle, including a child and two firefighters
  • As of Thursday evening, 56 people remained uncontactable in Hawke’s Bay and Tai Rāwhiti
  • The national state of emergency was extended on Monday for a further seven days
  • The government has announced a ministerial inquiry into forestry practices
  • Applications for $25 million of grants were opening to farmers and growers on Wednesday afternoon. More information is on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ website
  • People in Napier are warned not to eat kai moana and to stay off the beach and out of the water, as raw sewage is pumped out to sea.
  • Want to help? Here’s how.
UPDATED FEB 24, 2023 12:39 PM
Feb 24, 2023 6:02 AM
RNZ Live
National Emergency Management Agency advice:
  • Heavy rain could cause further flooding, landslides, and damage to roads in regions impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle
  • Put safety first. Act quickly if you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater
  • Have grab bags ready with: medications, snacks, water, torches, pet food, and baby formula (if needed) in case you need to evacuate
  • Plan where you will go if you have to evacuate
  • Ensure that you have enough food, water, and other essential supplies to last for several days
  • Stay up to date with the latest information from MetService and your local CDEM Group or from
  • Wear protective clothing when cleaning flood water and mud including: mask, goggles, gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and gumboots or work shoes
UPDATED FEB 24, 2023 11:01 AM
Feb 24, 2023 10:08 PM
RNZ Live
Feb 24, 2023 9:55 PM
RNZ Live
Feb 24, 2023 9:54 PM
RNZ Live

Auckland’s severe thunderstorm warning lifted

MetService has lifted the severe thunderstorm warning for Auckland.
It says thunderstorms have eased, but there may still be localised heavy rain with up to 25mm per hour set to fall in some areas.
Feb 24, 2023 9:49 PM
RNZ Live

Jepson urges Mangawhai residents to seek help if needed

Kaipara mayor Craig Jepson says Mangawhai residents should leave their homes if they feel unsafe tonight, with heavy rain causing flooding and sending slips falling.
Jepson said almost 400mm of rain has been measured locally since 4.30pm afternoon.
He said people can seek help at the council building on Molesworth Drive, or the Mangawhai Golf Club. Places to sleep have also been arranged.
Campbell Park Christian Camp is being used as an evacuation centre and can sleep up to 85 people.
Jepson said there were a lot of slips on the roads, so people should avoid driving unless they absolutely had to.
Feb 24, 2023 9:47 PM
RNZ Live
UPDATED FEB 24, 2023 9:50 PM
Feb 24, 2023 9:34 PM
RNZ Live

Pupils, parents stranded at Northland school

Twenty pupils and 10 parents stranded at a school in Kaiwaka Primary School remain safe this evening. There were calls earlier on social media to supply blankets for those staying there.

Access to the school was restricted by the closure of a section of State Highway 1, as well as Waipu Gorge Road being off limits.
Feb 24, 2023 9:25 PM
RNZ Live

Bridge connecting East Cape communities closes

The bridge connecting isolated East Cape communities and the Te Araroa township has closed.
Te Araroa Civil Defence says an engineer assessed the Awatere bridge on East Cape Road today and found it was unstable because one of the piles had twisted.
Civil Defence said it would be working with Gisborne District Council to re-establish an old ford crossing across the river as a temporary solution.
Feb 24, 2023 9:16 PM
RNZ Live
Feb 24, 2023 9:14 PM
RNZ Live

Hawke’s Bay emergency teams fully activated tonight

Hawkes Bay’s Emergency Coordination Centre says it is fully activated and continues to monitor the impacts of heavy rain this evening.

It said Residents were ordered to evacuate from the Esk Valley as a precaution this afternoon and teams of about 50 people from Police and Fire and Emergency went door-to-door, making sure everyone had received the emergency mobile alert.
Duty Controller Neville Reilly said the teams found that most of the houses visited in the evacuation zone were already empty following last week’s cyclone. Residents of another 26 houses evacuated voluntarily this afternoon.
Civil Defence centres are open in Napier, Flaxmere and Pōrangahau and a centre is ready to open in Waipawa if needed overnight.
Roadblocks have been set up around the evacuated area, to ensure properties are secure while residents are evacuated.
Feb 24, 2023 9:00 PM
RNZ Live

Motorists trapped between slips in Mangawhai

Approximately 30 vehicles and occupants are trapped between two slips on Tara Rd in Mangawhai this evening.

Fire and Emergency was alerted to the incident at 7.21pm. All those trapped are reported safe on high ground, but require need to get out.

Fire and Emergency are assisting them to return home.

In the six hours to 8pm, Fire and Emergency has been called to 96 weather-related events across New Zealand. There were 25 were in Northland and 65 were in Auckland.

Crews are on the move and dealing with multiple incidents.

UPDATED FEB 24, 2023 9:09 PM
Feb 24, 2023 8:54 PM
RNZ Live

Mangawhai homes being evacuated

Kaipara mayor Craig Jepson says some Mangawhai residents are evacuating their homes as heavy rain floods the area.
Jepson said the Campbell Park Christian Camp was being used as an evacuation centre. The camp is able to sleep up to 85 people.
Kaipara District Council is asking Mangawhai Heads locals to drop off spare sheets, pillows, and blankets to the camp.
Motorists can now access Molesworth Drive in Mangawhai but can only travel as far as Mangawhai Heads Rd. Some streets in the town have been flooded.
UPDATED FEB 24, 2023 9:38 PM
Feb 24, 2023 8:48 PM
RNZ Live
Feb 24, 2023 8:38 PM
RNZ Live

Waipu shelter relocated to church

The Civil Defence shelter in Northland town of Waipu has been moved from Waipu Coronation Hall to the Presbyterian Church this evening, located at 50 The Centre.

The move was due to there being not even seats in the hall.
Feb 24, 2023 8:28 PM
RNZ Live

A new emergency alert has been sent to people’s phones in the north and west of Auckland, warning of landslides and flash flooding brought on by “high intensity localised downpours”. It also warns people need to be ready to evacuate if necessary. Joining us now live is Auckland’s Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson.

Desley urges Aucklanders to act if sensing danger

Auckland Deputy Mayor Desley has urged the public to watch for moving ground, look after pets and stay home if at all possible this evening
She told Checkpoint: “Act immediately if you see rising water. Floods and landslips can happen very quickly. If you see by the naked eye or sense moving earth or rising water, please do not wait for any more official warnings – head for safer grounds… if you feel your life is in danger, please call 111 immediately.”
She urged anyone who had to drive to “watch the ground”, with the chance of roads giving way.
She said she hoped residents in communities still cut off after Gabrielle, such as Karekare, had batteries to keep up to date via radio, if the power went out (or was still out).
“Your mobile can’t be charged by batteries, but radio can.”
Feb 24, 2023 8:20 PM
RNZ Live

Gisborne water supply fix unlikely permanent – engineers

The head of one of the groups fixing Gisborne’s water supply says it is unlikely to be a permanent solution and New Zealand needs to take a fresh look at its infrastructure.
Ten staff from Gisborne Engineering are part of a collective of engineers working alongside the council to repair the town’s water network.
Gisborne is on an extreme alert level to conserve water, with residents asked to only use it for short showers, drinking, and food preparation.
Gisborne Engineering chief executive Peter McArthur said trying to repair the pipes had been difficult.
He estimated repair work from his team should take about two weeks.
Feb 24, 2023 8:15 PM
RNZ Live
Feb 24, 2023 8:11 PM
RNZ Live

Brown urges Aucklanders to keep eye on rain radar

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown is urging Aucklanders to keep an eye on the MetService rain radar as thunderstorms move across the region this evening.
Brown said Auckland Emergency Management was fully operational. Earlier this afternoon, two mobile alerts were issued to advise vulnerable communities of the heightened risk of slips and flooding.
He said further heavy rain was likely on-and-off across most of the region for a few more hours.
Brown echoed advice of other officials that anyone worried about their safety, should consider staying with friends or family or head to the nearest Civil Defence centre.
Feb 24, 2023 8:08 PM
RNZ Live
UPDATED FEB 24, 2023 8:16 PM
Feb 24, 2023 8:02 PM
RNZ Live

Deluge causing floods, outages across Auckland

Short but heavy bursts of rain are causing floods in North Auckland and parts of Northland.
Power outages have been reported in pockets north and south of Auckland, and on Waiheke Island.
Auckland Emergency Management Duty Controller Adam Maggs said there could be up to five more pockets of rain in the next few hours.
Maggs warned, even if it looks like the rain had stopped, more could soon follow.
Feb 24, 2023 7:50 PM
RNZ Live


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