19 Jul 2008

Flooding and slips in North Island following downpours

4:35 pm on 19 July 2008

Many parts of the North Island have been deluged with rain, with reports of surface flooding and slips.

MetService reports 186mm of rain has fallen on Mt Taranaki in the 24 hours to Saturday afternoon, with parts of the Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and Taupo also recording heavy downpours.

The police are urging motorists to take care, particularly on the Desert Road in the central North Island and the Mana Esplanade, north of Wellington, following reports of surface flooding.

On Saturday afternoon a major slip in the Manawatu Gorge had reduced traffic to one lane, while another slip was reported on State Highway 1 at Whenua Tapu.

MetService spokesperson Gerard Bellam says while conditions have eased, another front is expected to reach the North Island on Saturday night, bringing more rain and thunderstorms.