More rain, wind and possible further flooding for Northland; Civil Defence
Northlanders are again being warned to prepare for gale force winds, heavy rain and the possibility of further flooding as a low crosses the region today and tomorrow.
MetService has this morning issued a severe weather warning for Northland, advising of heavy rain and possible thunderstorms spreading over the region today. In the 18 hours from midday today to 6am tomorrow, 40 to 60mm of rain is expected but the eastern hill country from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei may receive as much as 60 to 90mm. Easterly gales with gusts up to 100 km/h are also expected this afternoon and evening – although these are forecast to ease tonight, southerly gales are then expected to develop on Sunday morning.
Graeme MacDonald, spokesman for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says authorities are preparing for the likelihood of further flooding – given the already-sodden state of many areas – and possible power outages.
"We acknowledge Northlanders have already gone through a lot and in some cases, their patience has been stretched to the limit but we are confident they will rise to the challenge of getting through it all again if required.
"People should keep an eye on weather conditions and forecasts, have a plan to get themselves and their families through, and consider curtailing any travel that isn't essential," Mr MacDonald says.
"Although a massive team effort has already been put in to get the region's roading network back up and running, further road closures are a possibility if more flooding or damage is experienced overnight."
He says Civil Defence will continue to closely monitor the weather situation overnight and update the public as required, including through the Northland CDEM Group's Facebook page – www.facebook.com/civildefencenorthland
Information about any local district council road and State Highway closures/issues in Northland while warnings are in force is available from the Automobile Association website via www.AAroadwatch.co.nz
General Civil Defence information is also available from the Northland Regional Council's website www.nrc.govt.nz/civildefence
Northpower and Top Energy remain keen for all faults to be reported to them. Top Energy's fault line number is 0800 867 363 and Northpower's 0800 10 40 40.