12 Mar 2017

Big cleanup follows deluge

10:27 pm on 12 March 2017

The big cleanup has begun after a flash flood ripped through West Auckland.

A heavy downpour battered Auckland on Sunday, dropping 65mm of rain on the west of the city in just one hour at about midday, causing flash-flooding and inundating more than 320 homes throughout the city, some of them waist-deep.

However, the Fire Service said the situation was now under control and the water was subsiding.

Auckland Civil Defence said for people to call 0800 22 22 00 if their homes were damaged and they were unable to stay with friends.

Damage to flats on Great North Rd

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Multiple people had been trapped in floodwaters on Great North Road in New Lynn and there were also reports of people trapped in shops in the suburb, the service said.

Crews used ropes to rescue those trapped, saying they were suffering from exposure.

The Fire Service received nearly 600 emergency calls since 6am, averaging a call every 24 seconds.

Look back at RNZ's coverage of the flooding here.

Flooding affected nearly a dozen suburbs including: Kaukapakapa, Devonport, Parnell, Remuera, Eden Terrace, Blockhouse Bay, Morningside, Massey, Westgate, Whenuapai, and New Lynn.

Record amounts of rain over the last two days flooded parts of the Auckland region, Northland and Coromandel.

A slip ploughed into a house in Glendene on Butterworth Drive, and another slip was reported on Trig Hill Rd on Waiheke Island.

West Auckland floods, New Lynn

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The Fell-Coates family in Mount Albert was among those whose houses had flooded.

Lee Coates said the storm water drain could not cope, and water had started coming up through it instead of draining away.

Her daughter Keira said water rose into the house within about ten minutes.

"You couldn't see the floor, you could just see water up to your knees."

A Bunnings Warehouse in New Lynn had to be evacuated and was then closed because of flooding.

Rotorua stream has broken its banks

About half a dozen houses were threatened by flood waters after the Utuhina Stream in Rotorua broke its banks.

The stream runs through the city and it is running high after the rain over the weekend.

The Fire Service said a crew started responding to flood waters approaching houses about 5pm and an urgent call for sandbags has been put out.

However, the Fire Service have now left the scene and the stream's level is being monitored by residents.

Metservice has issued a heavy rain warning for the Bay of Plenty region.

Power back on in Glen Eden

Brennan Fell outside his flooded Mt Albert house.

Brennan Fell outside his flooded Mt Albert house. Photo: RNZ / Rowan Quinn

Power is back on in Glen Eden where it was lost to almost 3000 homes.

Power was out to nearly 4000 homes throughout Auckland during the day.

MetService said the worst of the weather was over for much of the North Island, with only a few showers expected in the evening.

It said a trough crossed central New Zealand, while a separate low would move south-east across the northern North Island.

The weather has caused slips and surface flooding in Wellington too.

MetService also warned of severe gales in the northern North Island, with northerly gales in the morning swiveling round to the west in the afternoon.

Auckland Civil Defence said it was "a fast moving and very unstable system with a risk of small tornadoes anywhere across the region".

Great Barrier Island was likely to bear the brunt, with gusts of up to 120km/h possible, civil defence said.

West Auckland floods, New Lynn

Flooding in New Lynn. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The Transport Agency said all highways in Coromandel, many of which had been closed by flooding, were now open but drivers should be cautious.

Clevedon, near the Hunua Ranges south-east of Auckland, was starting to prepare for when the water on its properties and roads subsided, by stocking up on supplies.

Torrential rain cut off roads in the town and killed livestock earlier this week.