16 May 2015

Wild weather rattles North Island

11:51 am on 16 May 2015

It was Horowhenua's turn for wild weather last night with heavy rain flooding several homes in Levin, forcing the evacuation of one.

Wellington weather

The wider Wellington region was hit hard by heavy rain on Thursday. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The rain has now eased in the area, allowing flooding to subside.

The district's emergency management adviser, Ross Brannigan, said the fire service and council staff were working to return flood-affected roads to normal.

He said residents could be proactive by clearing blocked drains.

"Every couple of years we get a decent downfall but this was a little bit different, in terms of the length of time it rained," he said.

"But the intensity, over two, three, four hours - that's what made the difference in this one, I think."

Mr Brannigan said it was the heaviest he had seen in three or four years.

Severe weather watch lifted

Wellington, which is still recovering from this week's flooding, received another dose of severe weather this morning, with gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour.

View a gallery of images from Thursday's torrential rain and flooding

MetService said a very cold southerly over most of the country had caused gusts, rain and single-digit temperatures in some areas.

A severe weather watch for strong winds from Banks Peninsula to the Wairarapa coast, including Wellington, has now been lifted.

Heavy rain fell around Palmerston North, causing slips overnight, but police said those had now been cleared.

In central Hawke's Bay, several paddocks were flooded and there has been some surface flooding on roads.

About 155 thunderstorm strikes were recorded off the Bay of Plenty coast in the two hours before 6am.

Train services resume in Wellington

Wellington's commuter train service is fully operational again after being disrupted by the weather over the past two days.

Trains on the Johnsonville, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa Lines resumed this morning, while the Kapiti Line was due to reopen at about midday.

Porirua Station is still closed with buses operating between Porirua and Paremata.

Meanwhile, both lanes of State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge will be opened this afternoon for the first time in more than a month.

Just one lane has been open since a slip in early April.

The NZTA said contractors had installed about 2000 square metres of rockfall netting at the site of the slip.