13 Apr 2017

Harbour Bridge restrictions likely during storm

11:44 am on 13 April 2017

The Transport Agency says it is now less likely it will have to close the Auckland Harbour Bridge during the storm, but there may still be restrictions.

Auckland highway manager Brett Gliddon Brett Gliddon said initial predictions were that winds would reach 160 km/h making the bridge too dangerous to use. But that has since been reduced to more than 100 km/h.

There could still be restrictions, including lowering the speed limit and not allowing high sided vehicles and motorbikes.

Mr Gliddon said the motorway network would be working to capacity later, and he expected there would be incidents which would slow it down, so people should leave work early or avoid travelling at all today.

  • Keep up to date with our live coverage of the storm here or check our summary of what you need to know
  • Are you affected by the storm? If it's safe for you to do so, you can email photos and video to RNZ at iwitness@radionz.co.nz. Please include your contact details if you are willing to speak to one of our reporters.

Auckland Transport said there were also minor delays for trains on the western and eastern lines. All Gulf Harbour ferry services were also replaced by buses today due to the weather.

There were dowpours in Auckland overnight which caused localised flooding in Swanson, Te Atatu and Albany.

The University of Auckland closed this morning because of the storm, with all lectures, tutorials, labs and other teaching events cancelled, and tests postponed.

AUT also closed.

Auckland Civil Defence spokesperson Aaron Davis said it was the calm before the storm, and from about mid morning islands in the Hauraki Gulf could expect damage.

"Great Barrier, there's even potential for 165km wind gusts - so that's extreme.

"On top of the rain that's going to cause a lot of damage."

Waiheke was forecast to get 140km/h wind which was of a strength to cut power to parts of the island.

Some Great Barrier Island residents feared this could be the biggest storm they had ever seen.

The Auckland Council's co-ordinator on the island, Cushla Buchanan told Morning Report access was a problem, as the main road may be cut off - isolating little pockets of the community.

"Everyone's on standby. All emergency services, all our contractors were all working together," she said.

"It's really just a case of wait and see, we'll be responding as soon as we can get out there and see what damage we sustained basically."

Ms Buchanan said the advice was to batten the hatches, avoid travel, and stay safe.

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