23 May 2010

Prepare for storms, urges Civil Defence

2:43 pm on 23 May 2010

Civil Defence is warning people to prepare for the stormy weather due to hit much of the country from Sunday night.

A severe weather warning has been issued for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Taihape, Nelson, Canterbury and Otago.

The Civil Defence authorities in the Nelson region are urging people in the Tapawera area, which was flooded last week, to be vigilant, as streams may still be blocked by debris which could cause further problems.

Slips and floodwaters isolated properties in the Motueka River valley last week, forcing the evacuation of 22 families.

The Civil Defence emergency management office in Auckland is advising people to check they have an emergency supply kit, and for people living in low-lying areas to have a get-away kit.

MetService says Northland and Auckland can expect up to 70mm of rain overnight, with up to 20mm per hour during heavy downpours.

The Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay can expect up to 160mm from early Monday morning.

North-easterly gales will also hit these areas on Sunday evening, and spread across the country by Monday night and Tuesday.

MetService forecasts heavy rain and easterly gales for Nelson, west of Motueka, on Monday, with up to 120mm of rain about the ranges, and 60mm in some low lying areas.

Significant rainfall is likely in Canterbury south of the Waimakariri River and north Otago, with periods of heavy rain and southeast gales from Monday morning through to Tuesday.

In these areas, 100 mm to 150mm of rain is expected, although North Otago and the Canterbury foothills south of about the Rangitata River may receive as much as 250mm up to midnight Tuesday.