TODAY |

The morning after: Ex-tropical Cyclone Cook leaves power cuts, flooding and travel disruption around New Zealand

1 NEWS NOW will bring you the latest weather developments throughout the day as ex-tropical Cyclone Cook makes its way down the country.

The region has woken to relatively fine day today after an eventful night weather-wise. Source: 1 NEWS

Wet weather from ex-tropical Cyclone Cook has hit the city today. Source: 1 NEWS

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1.17pm Many roads are closed in the the Bay of Plenty and Waikato: Bay of Plenty closures: State Highway 34 is closed at Otakiri between Edgecumbe and Te Teko; State Highway 2 near Pikowai camping ground on the Matata straight; SH2 Edgecumbe, SH2 at Waimana Gorge, SH2 Pekatahi Bridge; State Highway 29 Kaimai Range; State Highway 36 and State Highway 5. Waikato Road closures: State Highway 29 Kaimai Range; State Highway 36 and State Highway 5; State Highway 25 – Thames-Coast Rd is closed from Tararu to Preece Point; State Highway 2 Karangahake Gorge is open to one lane.

12.38pm Around 800 homes still without power on east coast of North Island and more than 10,000 home remain without electricity in Hawke's Bay.

11.43am Families are out inspecting their flooded neighbourhood in the Somerfield/Beckenham area of Christchurch after ex-tropical Cyclone Cook swept through the Canterbury region. In Bay of Plenty Edgecumbe residents must stop using all wastewater systems due to overflows. Horizon Energy advises electricity has been restored to Whakatane.

11.05am Civil Defence says a state of emergency remains in place for Bay of Plenty but not Coromandel. The Defence Force and Fire Service will help with the cleanup. Travel still not advised in these areas due to damage and debris on roads. Higher than usual water levels in waterways could cause issues over next few days. Stay away from floodwaters. Support to continue in Edgecombe and Whakatane.

10.33am Christchurch is experiencing surface flooding as heavy rain hits the city. The intersection of Maces and Ruru roads, in Bromley, has been closed because of flooding and there is surface flooding on other roads around the city, particularly around the Heathcote River which has topped its banks in some place. "Drivers should take extreme care and if they have to drive through flood waters they should reduce their speed so they don't cause it to wash onto adjacent properties,'' says Christchurch City Council City Services General Manager David Adamson. In the flood-prone Flockton area temporary pumps have been activated and a close watch is being kept on water levels.

A car lies damaged from a fallen tree in McDonald St, Napier. Source: James George

9.20am All heavy rain warnings and severe gale warnings associated with ex-tropical Cyclone Cook have been lifted by MetService. However they advise there are a few South Island areas that may experience conditions close to warning criteria today. A weather watch remains for the ranges of Buller and Westland until early tomorrow morning; North Otago, Dunedin and Clutha from now and into this afternoon. Watches for possible severe gales remain for Banks Peninsula until midday today and North Otago, Dunedin and Clutha for this morning.

9.05am Update from Whakatane District Council: Coastal inundation damage has been light. No houses have been impacted. People evacuated from all of Ōhope – West End, and parts of Pohutukawa Avenue and Harbour Road can return to their homes, but they should be aware that their water supply has been impacted. Conserve water and don’t flush notices apply. The evacuation advisories for the Awatarariki area and campgrounds from Matatā west have also been lifted. Power outages have affected much of the District. Our water and wastewater systems have been seriously affected. We're putting generators at key pump stations, but capacity is low.  Conserve water and Don't Flush notices apply to all areas where power is out. Te Teko has no water.  Parts of Ōhope and the Hillcrest and Mokorua areas in Whakatāne have no water supply available. Boil water notices still apply to the Rangitaiki Plains, Rūātoki, Te Mahoe and Taneatua Power is out in: Whakatāne, Ōhope, Coastlands, Otakiri, Tāneatua, Rūātoki, Waimana, Matatā, Thornton, Galatea, Murupara, Minginui, Ruatāhuna, Waiōtahe and Ōpōtiki through to Cape Runaway. No information at this stage on when power will be restored; Multiple road closures due to slips and fallen trees, including SH2 at the Matatā straights. Rainfall was unexpectedly light – no problems with stormwater systems and river flows. Today's focus will be on reopening roads and restoring water and wastewater systems to working order. 

8.17am The state of emergency for Thames-Coromandel District has been lifted. 

7.57am "The worst is over. At the moment it's lying just southeast of Cook Strait," said MetService meteorologist John Crouch about 5am today.It should pass the east of the South Island this morning, bringing rain and wind to the eastern seaboard, he said. Cook brought heavy bands of rain and strong winds. The strongest wind gust was 209km/h recorded at White Island around 4pm yesterday and Cape Kidnappers' winds hit 154km/h at 9pm. However, winds around the Bay of Plenty were generally much lower. Firefighters responded to 50 weather-related calls in the Hawke's Bay until about 9.30pm but there was nothing after 10pm, the Fire Service's Murray Dunbar says. Nevertheless, the Waikato and Bay of Plenty face a clean-up. (AAP)

7.42am Cyclone Cook looks to be tracking south now. While MetService say the worst is over, there will be still be lots of rain that could cause flooding in low lying areas. The winds have dramatically died down – MetService recorded 200 km/ph winds on White Island in the early hours this morning. In Wellington it rained overnight and it's still raining on and off this morning

7.13am In the Coromandel 26 homes remain without power in Waihi; SH25 Thames to Coromandel remains closed due to a major slip; SH29 Te Poi to Tauriko is closed.  SH29 Tauranga to Te Poi is down to one lane due to slips; SH2 Edgecumbe remains closed; SH34 Edgecumbe to Te Toko remains closed; SH2 between Awakeri and Opotiki remains closed and NZTA said it won’t be fixed till after Easter due to slips. In Hawke's Bay almost 13,000 remain without power this morning. 10,354 homes without power in Hastings; 2,396 homes without power in Napier. SH38 Frasertown to Murupara is closed. SH2 Napier to Wairoa is closed.


6.50am Red Cross' Lauren Hayes says power is still out in Whakatane and more than 120 people stayed at the Civil Defence Centre in the Bay of Plenty town last night, many who couldn't get home. Ex-tropical Cyclone Cook brought strong winds to Whakatane last night, with a fallen tree visible near the Civil Defence centre in Ms Hayes video:

6.18am Ex-tropical Cyclone Cook has moved past the bottom of the North Island and is weakening as it moves south. The system is then expected to continue tracking south along the South Island east coast today. MetService forecasts heavy rain for Nelson and Marlborough this morning and for the Canterbury Plains including Christchurch and Banks Peninsula until midday.  Around 9000 houses in Hawke's Bay remain without power today.