Water supply worries after heavy rain floods Northland, with Gisborne area also hit hard

Source: 1News

Northland and Tolaga Bay have been hit hard by rain overnight, with emergency services responding to multiple requests for help as flood waters rose.

Heavy rain fell throughout most of yesterday in Northland, continuing into the night, with Northland District Council rain gauges recording up to 272mm of rain in some places within the past 24 hours.

Residents were urged last night to stay off the flooded roads as emergency services were called out to multiple requests for help by stranded motorists.

A watermain has burst on Riverside Drive, affecting the water supply to Onerahi and Whangarei Heads, and residents have been told this morning to use the water for emergencies only.

A Whangarei District Council spokesperson said the rainfall is overwhelming treatment plants, and while there is a small amount in the reservoir, it is "dropping fast", and residents are urged to conserve water.

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Multiple slips and flooding are being reported this morning by NZTA and motorists are advised to continue to avoid the roads if possible, or to check the roads ahead of their journey if absolutely necessary.

NZTA said this morning that the Far North is "effectively cut off" by state highway closures.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand attended more than 200 weather-related callouts overnight in the region.

Civil Defence Northland reported about 11.40pm that their two Civil Defence Centres in Whangarei had been boltered by a community-led centre at Kawakawa Primary School, and at the Moerewa Fellowship Church.

Meanwhile in the Gisborne region , heavy rainfall has led to rising riving levels, forcing some residents to self-evacuate, Gisborne District Council said.

Multiple slips have been reported on State Highway 35 and Gisborne District Council Civil Defence is urging people not to travel unless they absolutely have to, and to check the latest road updates here

Residents are urged to stay home.

The Hikuwai River in the Uawa catchment peaked at 12.25m at 9am, making it the highest flood level since 2005.

The rain has since eased in central Gisborne and Tolaga Bay, while the Hikuwai River levels have continued to drop. 

However, rainfall has increased in Waipaoa and Kanakanai, with the rain expected to continue to fall for the remainder of the day, according to the Gisborne District Council and Civil Defence Tairāwhiti. 

Te Puia recorded 283mm of rain over the past 24 hours, and between 50-80mm was recorded on Goodwin Road near Gisborne.

A further 80-100m is still forecast to fall north of Tolaga Bay over the next 24 hours.

In the Coromandel region , several state highways are closed due to slips, including SH25 Whangamata to Hikuai, where contractors clearing a large slip last night saw two smaller slips occur this morning.