Heavy rain is causing havoc in Northland, with residents warned to stay off the roads because of flooding.
Civil Defence Northland said emergency services were responding to "multiple calls" of people in cars in floodwaters and "other high-priority incidents". It also reported that some houses and businesses in the region had been flooded.
"Please assist us by not heading out on the roads."
The rain in Whangārei caused flooding on Paramount Parade in Tikipunga and at a BP station on Riverside Drive, Parahaki.
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Civil Defence Northland said it may not be able to help with incidents like blocked drains and damage to roofs tonight.
It said it had opened two Civil Defence Centres in Whangārei for residents who have had to leave their homes due to significant flooding. These are at Onerahi Community Hall and Kamo Scout Hall.
A section of SH1 at the Otiria Stream bridge in Moerewa is closed due to flooding, NZTA said.
As an alternative route, NZTA says SH11 by way of Paihia could be used but it is also susceptible to flooding. There is also surface flooding on SH12 from Ohaewai to Kaikohe.
A severe thunderstorm watch also remains in force for the region.
MetService said the torrential rain could cause surface and/or flash flooding near streams, gullies and urban areas, making driving conditions extremely hazardous.