24 Jan 2011

Power being restored as Auckland clean-up begins

5:22 pm on 24 January 2011

Electricity has been restored to Waiheke Island in Auckland, but pockets of the region remained without power after the weekend storm that caused flooding and damage.

During the wild weather, the Fire Service attended some 100 callouts in the Auckland region with problem areas including Herald Island and Maraetai.

About 1000 Vector customers were without power after a tree fell on a line during the early hours of this morning and another 1000 properties on Waiheke Island had supplies cut.

By midday on Monday all but several hundred properties had been reconnected. Areas where some were still without power were Those still without power included Glenfield, Kaipara Flats, and Kawau Island.

In Auckland, a king tide on Sunday morning combined with heavy rain and strong wind from a weather system moving over the North Island caused flooding in the lower central business district, eastern suburbs, Maraetai, Leigh, and on parts of State Highway 16, State Highway 1and Tamaki Drive.

Barry Maher from cleaning company Image Enhancement Services said that at one point on Sunday, the water was around 15cm deep in some basement shops in the Queen's Arcade on Queen Street.

Many people along The Parade in Bucklands Beach spent most of Sunday without electricity. Resident Bryan Berriman says the flooding caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to his property.

A second king tide was due must before midnight, and parts of Tamaki Drive and the North-Western motorway were closed as a precaution.

Fire Service shift manager Scott Osmond said the Beachlands Brigade helped sandbag about 15 properties in Maraetai overnight on Sunday.

The Civil Defence controller in Auckland says it was lucky that the storm didn't coincide with the late-night high tide, as had been forecast.

Clive Manley told Morning Report that high winds knocked down some trees but all roads were clear after crews worked through the night.

There had been some sewage overflows, he said, and warnings not to swim would be posted at beaches.