TODAY |

As it happened: Wild storm rips through upper North Island as deluge causes road closures and evacuations

The storm continued to pelt the North Island and upper South Island, wreaking havoc and causing slips and floods. 

Wild weather cuts power to homes in the Auckland region Source: Supplied

5.44pm Hamilton residents will need to urgently conserve water after the rising levels of the Waikato River could impact the slip-affected Eastern Bulk Water Main. 

4.46pm Winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour are possible in Auckland. 

4.32pm Fire crews are still pumping water from houses in Whangamata, Huia, and Huntly according to Fire Communications

4.21pm Trees have damaged power lines around Auckland cutting power. About 82 houses are currently without power around Kawakawa Bay, Waiheke Island, Avondale and Warkworth. Vector is hoping power will be back by 10pm tonight.
Click here to see the power outages. 

4.13pm Some Coromandel residents are experiencing fresh water issues, a water tanker is outside Pururi Pub for those who need it. There is no known time of water restoration according to the Thames-Coromandel District Council. 

4.06pm SH1 Kaitaia is now fully open, but SH15 Twin Bridges is still closed. 

3.57pm Roads around Auckland and Waiheke have been closed from flooding and slips.

3.30pm New Zealand Army soldiers and two trucks are on their way to the Coromandel to evacuate 500 people stranded by floods. 

3.22pm Northwest Nelson is on a severe weather warning as the storm makes it way to the South Island. The Nelson mail reported police have issued a warning to stay safe on the road after two vehicle crashes in Tasman this afternoon. 

Steve Tautari wasn't going to let a little water stop him reaching his family. Source: 1 NEWS

3.15pm Four houses in Whangamata have been flooded and need assistance from fire services. 

3.09pm SH25 Whangamata Bypass is closed due to slips.

3.07pm Auckland Civil Defence urges residents to be prepared as more severe weather is likely to hit the city. High winds are expected to his tomorrow morning. 

3.03pm Some good news, rain is clearing for the Bay of Plenty. 

Harmony Edmonds, 12, kayaks through the flood in Pawarenga, Northland. Source: Supplied

2.50pm The small township of Pawarenga has slips cutting the locals off. The river banks have broken and locals are utilising kayaks and paddleboards for transport. 

2.12pm Another severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for most of the North Island, with scattered thunderstorms likely this afternoon and evening. 

Heavy rain, large hail strong winds and even a possibly damaging tornado has been predicted by Metservice

1.39pm: Watercare said Aucklanders need to work harder to cut their water consumption down by 20 litres of water per day.

Ardmore Treatment Plant, which supplies up to two-thirds of the region's water, is operating at half its capacity due to an unprecedented level of silt in the water from the Hunua dams. 

If the water usage savings are not met, partially treated water has to be released into the supply and a boil water notice will have to be issued. 

1.26pm: Tasman Police are urging people to drive to the conditions due to the wet weather and take extra care on the roads. 

"Slow down in the wet weather, drive to the conditions, and be aware of other road users and pedestrians," Tasman District Command Centre's senior sergeant Scott Richarson said. 

1.10pm: The Fire Service has responded to 468 emergency calls from midday yesterday to midday today. 

1.05pm: The Fire Service removed a sodden and heavy ceiling inside a house on Hargest Tce in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert.

The caller believed the ceiling was in danger of collapsing.  

12.51pm: Waikato District Council doing it's best to put up signage around flooded roads. 

12.40pm: Waikato District Council warns drivers to be cautious as surface flooding can be deeper than it appears. 

12.34pm: Not your average horseriding course - video shows young Far North boy on his horse trotting through floodwaters.

12.15pm: When you get more than you bargained for - NIWA reports that Auckland received one month's rain in less than 24 hours. 

12.09pm: Tourist Rd, Clevedon, from earlier this morning. 

11.55am: Waikato District Council closes Ngaruwahia walking track due to flooding.

11.46am: Civil Defence reports flooding over a metre deep at Clevedon. 

11.42am: The Fire Service is responding to flooded houses in the Bay of Plenty suburbs Hairini, Omokoroa, and Parkvale as the rain band moves south-east.

11.39am: 1 NEWS weatherman Dan Corbett says torrential rain clearing for North Island, but scattered thunderstorms still expected. 

11.27am: Spectacular drone footage shows the scale the flooding in Hikuai in the Coromandel Peninsula. 

11.09am: Waikato Regional Council is keeping a close eye on river levels after heavy rain overnight. Residents are advised to take care around waterways and drains. 

Up to 140mm of rain fell on the Coromandel last night. 

10.56am: Updated weather incident heat map from Fire Service as at 10.50am. 

10.45am: Don't try this at home - flood hunters drive through unexpectedly deep Clevedon waters in this video.

10.33am: Flooding has been reported at homes in Te Amamutu and at Frankton, Hamilton close to Auckland. 

10.32am: Waikato District Council says sewage systems may not work properly due to overflowing pump stations in Ngaruwahia. 

10.20am: Check out the story of a dedicated South Auckland woman who didn't let thigh-deep floodwaters keep her from work here

10.14am: A seawall has collapsed in Auckland's Devonport suburb, which has been sandbagged to minimise further damage, Auckland Civil Defence said. 

Residents are advised to be careful and not to drive through floodwaters. 

10.06am: High tension lines have come down on Old Kaipara Rd, Kaipara Flats, livening a fence and setting a tree on fire, the Fire Service said.

9.58am: A tree has fallen on a parked car on Stamford Park Rd in the Auckland suburb of Mt Roskill, the Fire Service has tweeted. 

9.51am: NZTA is advising Coromandel residents to stay home if possible as crews continue cleaning up the roads. 

SH25 is still blocked from at Whangamata after a large slip and from Hikuai to Tairua due to flooding. 

9.32am: Fire Service is responding to reports of a landslip into a house on Hill Rd, Waiheke Island in Auckland. 

The landslip damaged the garage of the home, but the occupants are unharmed. 

9.17am: Metservice issues severe thunderstorm watch for the North Island until 10pm tonight. 

9.00am: Auckland Cup Day races at the Ellerslie Racecourse have been postponed due to the bad weather and rescheduled for March 16.

"It is impossible to provide a safe environment both on and off the track for the jockeys and our raceday hospitality partners and patrons," said Auckland Racing Club chief executive Cameron George. 

Ticketholders will be contacted later today. 

8.50am: Fire service heat map for Auckland weather callouts as at 8.50am.

8.12am: Residents in the Auckland suburb of Clevedon are being advised to stay home due to serious flooding. 

Alfriston-Ardmore Rd, Twilight Rd, and Tourist Rd in Clevedon have been closed. 

8.10am: The Fire Service is responding to approximately 30 reports of homes and basements flooded across Auckland. The msot affected suburbs are on the North Shore (5 homes) and Mt Roskill (9 homes). 

7.15am: A man has been rescued in South Auckland's Papakura this morning after he drove into floodwater on a rural road and became stuck.

A fire service spokesperson said the man was driving along Alriston-Ardmore Road when the incident happened.

Water started rising and got up to the driver's steering wheel.

He wasn't injured. The road is expected to be closed due to high levels of flooding. 

6.45am: State Highway 25 is closed from Whangamata to Tairua in both directions due to flooding, and SH 26 is closed from Kopu to Paeroa because of slips and flooding. 

Two more roads, SH5 south of Rotorua and SH2 west near Matata, Whakatane have been blocked by fallen trees. 

6.30am: About 200 Sundaise concertgoers camping in Waihi were evacuated from the Dickies Flat campgrounds because of the rising Waiwheta River, while 140 concertgoers self-evacuated. 

Many campers were taken in by local residents and housed in farm buildings. 

Almost 1000 houses in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn are without power from weather damage to the electricity network.

Some houses in the suburbs of Northcote, Western Springs, Herne Bay, and Kawakawa Bay are affected as well. 

Weather-related call outs keeps emergency services on their feet

Fire crews came to the rescue at a number of homes slammed by heavy rain overnight in the northern North Island.

Fire Communications received 153 weather-related call-outs between 6pm yesterday and 6am today. 

There were 13 in Northland, 108 in Auckland, 28 in Waikato, and four in the Bay of Plenty region. 

Residents of a Kaitaia street were warned by the fire service of water danger caused by flooding.

A fire spokesperson says around 700m in Allen Bell Drive is flooded and firefighters had gone door to door at 4am informing residents of the water danger.

The spokesperson said it was up to the residents whether or not they wanted to evacuate their homes.

Overnight: Crews were mainly called to incidents requiring them to divert water so the rain couldn't enter houses or basements.

One call-out was to a two-storey house in Glenview, Hamilton where the garage and lower bedrooms at the property had flooded just after 3am.

Crews used electric squeegees to get as much of the water out as possible.

At an Auckland home crews used a wet vacuum to suck up water that had flooded the property.

Fire fighters also helped repair a roof after it collapsed at a property in Kumeu, Auckland just before 11pm.

The size of the collapsed ceiling was two metres by one metre.