More heavy rain, winds on way today, North warned
31 Aug 2014, 9:41 AM
Civil Defence and other officials are keeping a wary eye on the heavens – and an approaching 11am east coast high tide – but say Northland appears to be coping with the latest burst of wet weather, even as more heavy rain is predicted today.
MetService forecasters this morning issued a new severe weather warning for Northland, forecasting bursts of heavy rain which are expected to continue until this evening, especially in the north and east of the region.
In the 12 hours from 9am to 9pm today, the MetService predicts a further 60mm to 90mm of rain on top of what has already fallen this weekend, with peak intensities of 10mm to 15mm an hour, easing later this afternoon. Meanwhile, the MetService also today issued a severe weather watch predicting easterly winds could rise to severe gales in Northland this afternoon before easing this evening.
Graeme MacDonald, spokesman for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says while there has been surface flooding in usual spots, at this stage the region appears to be coping well.
However, given the large amounts of rain that had already fallen in parts of the Far North in particular and the fact a high tide was due on the east coast about 11am, officials would be maintaining a close watch on the weather today, especially the area from the Bay of Islands north.
Mr MacDonald says given those factors, how quickly the rain fell would be key to how the situation unfolded today.
He says figures from Northland Regional Council hydrologists show in the 30 hours from midnight Friday to 6am today, 188mm had already fallen on Kaeo's eastern hills, just a few millimetres short of the 196mm the area would usually receive for the entire month of August.
Over the same 30 hour period to 6am, 176.5mm had fallen on the Puhipuhi area near Whangarei, 139mm at Wiroa Road (Upper Waitangi River Eastern Lake Omapere), 123mm on the Glenbervie Forest, 122.5mm at Kerikeri, 89.6mm at Whangarei Airport, 86.5mm at Ohaeawai, 79.4mm at Kaikohe and 70mm at Otiria near Moerewa. In contrast, in the Kaipara District, Dargaville had received just 2mm in the 30 hours to 6am today.
Mr MacDonald says Northlanders are all too familiar with the spots most likely to flood or experience other weather-related problems and he was confident they would continue to take the appropriate precautions today.
He says officials will continue to keep a close eye on the weather today and Civil Defence will 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 will be available from the Automobile Association website via www.AAroadwatch.co.nz
The site contains a map and brief description of closed/affected roads and an indication of when the issue/s involved is likely to be resolved.
Meanwhile, general Civil Defence information is also available from the Northland Regional Council's website www.nrc.govt.nz/civildefence