Nelson and West Coast breathe easier after being hammered by ex-cyclone, precaution still advised

This concludes 1 NEWS NOW's live weather coverage of ex-cyclone Fehi which has seen residents evacuated from flooded homes, roofs ripped off by powerful winds and chaos caused for much of the country.

The town is being hit by the remnants of an ex-tropical cyclone. Source: 1 NEWS

The destructive weather system is expected to hit the southern city later today. Source: 1 NEWS

Click here for the latest weather forecast.  

7:30pm: Buller Civil Defence report that Westport people are advised that the NBS Theatre welfare centre will only be open until 3am.

"If you think you may need evacuate you are advised to do it earlier rather than wait until it is dark. If you came close to being flooded today chances are it could happen tonight at high tide. Those residents are advised to put as much stuff up high as possible and go to a friend or relatives place, and only go to the welfare centre if there is no other option available. If you do need to go somewhere after 3am you can go to the NBS carpark in your vehicle - the toilets will be left open."

7:10pm: Auckland Transport is warning Tamaki Drive could close again when the high tide peaks around 9:10pm tonight.

They are warning motorists to plan for delays in the area around this time.

6:58pm: The storm has brought more issues to the Nelson area, with raw sewage overflows causing the Nelson City Council to close some popular swimming spots.

"Today's storm surge and king tide weather event has caused a failure at the Beach Road Sewerage Pump Station in Richmond, sewage overflows at Monaco and general contamination from stormwater run-off.

"This has resulted in an overflow of untreated sewage and stormwater contaminants into Nelson Haven and Waimea Estuary.

"The public is advised not to swim or have water contact at Waimea Estuary and the Haven, including Tahunanui Beach, until further notice."

6:50pm: Some good news out of Dunedin as welfare centres in Mosgiel and South Dunedin are closing at 7pm due to lack of demand.

The Dunedin City Council says if you have any concerns please call them on 03 477 4000.

6:30pm: A state of emergency have declared that 800 homes are at risk in Dunedin due to sewage flooding.

The council are making plans to evacuate people from South Dunedin. 

6:20pm: Winds reportedly hit more then 140 kilometres an hour today in Wellington, resulting in huge waves and the disruption of the flights.

5:50pm: Metservice report that Kaikoura hit a record of 37 degrees today, while Invercargill sat at a cool 15 degrees.

5:45pm: Nelson Tasman Civil Defence confirm that the high tide has now passed and the weather is forecast to ease overnight, however, another king tide is expected tonight at 11.30pm.

It is not expected to be at the same levels – though people should still be prepared. 

5:30pm: Metservice report that 27.6mm of rain has been recorded in Porirua in the last 3 hours.

5:20pm: Information on Spark offering free wi-fi to the South Island can be found here: Spark offers free wi-fi to whole of South Island during major summer storm.

5:10pm: Approximately 800 people are stuck in Haast as the town is cut off due to the weather.

Police say they are safe and well and that Civil Defence is the lead.

SH6 between Franz Josef and Fox Glacier is also closed due to slips and downed power lines.

There are reports of people trapped in the middle of the slips and work is underway to clear the road at both ends.

5:05pm: Emergency services are attending to flooding at a couple of properties in the Woodridge area, Wellington.

A spokesperson told 1 NEWS he is unsure of the severity at this point.

5:00pm: Preparations are underway in Dunedin for the storm that is expected to hit.

4:40pm: An update of the damage on West Coast can be found here: Confronting video shows scale of damage on West Coast from ex-cyclone Fehi.

4:05pm: The latest update from Metlink Wellington regarding ferry cancellation.

"Due to adverse conditions all ferry sailings have been cancelled today. Shuttles depart outside Mojo Cafe at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm."  

3:50pm: The latest update from MetService as the storm crosses the North Island.

"Front crossing upper North Island, with rain measured over 15mm/hr. Heavier rain expected as it tracks east this evening & Severe Weather Warnings and Watches in place."

3:25pm: The majority of flights in and out of Wellington have been delayed, diverted or cancelled.

It's hoped some flights will be able to make it out this afternoon.

Follow this link to keep up to date on the latest information at Wellington Airport. 

3pm: State of Emergency declared in Dunedin. 

2:55pm: The 1 NEWS team report that Dunedin has had 20.2mm of rain in the last hour. That marks the heaviest rainfall recorded across the country so far today.

2:30pm: Orion’s power network has been affected as trees and branches have fallen through power lines cutting power in a number of rural areas.

There are currently more than 2,800 customers without power in mainly rural locations, including Lincoln, West Melton, Tai Tapu, Akaroa and in Lyttelton. 

2:15pm: The 1 NEWS team in Christchurch report that strong winds are starting to cause problems in and around the region with a number of scrub fires popping up around the outskirts of the city.

Civil Defence are urging people who reside on the Otago Peninsula and West Harbour to go home early for safety reasons as a king tide is due around 5pm.

Residents concerned about the rising water are able to pick up sandbags from the locations below. 
• South Dunedin – car park behind St Clair Tennis Club, Victoria Road
• Mosgiel – Memorial Park car park beside the stadium/Mosgiel Memorial Gymnasium

Hundreds of sandbags have been collected so far.

1:55pm: Buller Civil Defence are warning residents in low lying areas to evacuate immediately issuing the following warning.

"Residents in the area north of the Orowaiti/snodgrass are advised to evacuate immediately due to rising water - please go to the Sargeants Hill Hall. Residents in the low lying areas of Carters Beach and Westport are advised to go to the Pulse Energy Centre.

1 NEWS has been told a state of emergency has been declared in the region with evacuations in process as high tide that is expected to hit hard around midnight.

1:45pm: The Dunedin Council isn't taking any chances with the weather, announcing a warning for residents to consider leaving work early and advising schools might also want to close early and send students home. Part of the statement is below.

Civil Defence is advising Otago Peninsula and West Harbour residents to consider heading home early today for safety reasons.

DCC Civil Defence Controller Sandy Graham says, "More rain is forecast for this afternoon and we want to keep people off roads that may be affected by surface flooding at a peak time."

1:35pm: Some domestic flights have now been cancelled departing Auckland Airport, 11 in total so far.

Follow this link to keep up to date on the latest flight information at Auckland Airport.

1:26pm: Further north in Auckland the heavy rain has now been coming down for about 30 minutes.

A lot of umbrellas out in the CBD.

1.04pm Wellington Airport has clarified it isn't closed and it is up to individual airlines to decide if they will fly.

There have been seven departing flights cancelled and three delayed so far.

11.58pm Civil Defence has announced the Nelson Tasman Group Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated, with a number of evacuations throughout the region in coastal areas.

There are a number of road closures across the region, including Rocks Road (SH6), Takaka Hill and the Coastal Road around Ruby Bay.

For a full list of these closures please refer to the Facebook pages of Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council.

12.48pm Otago Regional Council report a severe weather warning for heavy rain in Otago remains in place from 10:00am Thursday – 12:00am Friday.

12.22pm State Highway 58 in north Wellington has been closed between James Cook Dr and Postgate Dr due to surfacing flooding.

12.08pm Numerous flights out of Wellington airport have been delayed and cancelled due to wind, an airport spokesperson has confirmed.

11.58am Access to Nelson Airport has been temporarily closed due to flooding. Keep updated with your flight.