2 Jan 2016

Rain dampens summer holiday plans

9:52 pm on 2 January 2016

About 200 homes are still without power north of Auckland due to gusts and heavy rain, which brought trees down and caused campers to head home.

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Photo: Facebook/Northland Weather Updates

Power to more than 2000 homes was restored on Saturday morning in Auckland and Northland, after overnight storms brought down trees and branches, lines company Vector said.

About 200 homes in Warkworth remained without power on Saturday evening.

MetService said further rain was likely to continue from Northland to the Western Bay of Plenty, with 30 to 50 millimetres expected overnight before easing in the late morning.

Rain will continue to hit the Eastern Bay of Plenty until Sunday afternoon, with 80 to 120 millimetres likely.

Periods of heavy showers were expected to continue for Mount Taranaki and parts of the South Island including northwest Nelson, Buller and the Paparoa Range, intensifying overnight and easing late Sunday morning.

MetService warned heavy rainfall could cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, with slips and flash flooding also possible.

Driving conditions could be hazardous, MetService said.

Wild weather causes chaos

Trees were blown over and roofs lifted as strong winds and heavy rain battered the upper North Island on Friday night and Saturday morning.

The Fire Service said crews attended about 30 weather-related callouts, spread throughout the Auckland and Waikato areas, although there was a concentration in Te Aroha with 12 callouts.

Fire Service shift manager Paul Radden said there were no flood related callouts, no injuries reported, and only two incidents of damage to property.

Camp sites around Northland said wild winds and heavy rain have forced most holidaymakers to head back home.

The Department of Conservation site at Uretiti said about 60 percent of campers had left, and few if any were arriving.

Jodie Rogers of the Taupo Bay Holiday Park, near Mangonui, said only long-term and experienced campers were staying put.

"Probably only a quarter and even less stayed, the past 48 hours has been very rough, heavy rainfall, and quite big gusts of wind blowing through, particularly last night."

Robert Rush of Tauranga Bay said last night's wild wind and rain blew away about 20 tents, and left young families needing temporary accommodation.

Staff were rushing around to help in the early hours of the morning and the camp's drains were overflowing with all the rain.