31 Jul 2008

Overnight watch by Civil Defence

6:35 am on 31 July 2008

Civil Defence kept a watch overnight following Wednesday's storm and will take cues from local authorities about dealing with the aftermath.

Severe gales are expected to continue on Thursday morning in Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and the central North Island high country.

There are numerous road closures because of flooding, including State Highway One between Blenheim and Kaikoura.

Some 35 people were evacuated in Picton after the Marlborough District Council region declared an Civil Defence emergency. They were from a camping ground and houses near a flooded creek.

The storm has now hit North Canterbury.

Badly affected areas include Amberley, Leithfield and Rangiora. Rain has forced the evacuation of eight houses in the township of Sefton.

Emergency services say there are numerous reports of flooding.