Monday, 4 June 2018

Torrential rain and floods in New Zealand over holiday weekend

Here, in Wellington we have escaped the worst so far. No air movement in Windy Welly and weeks of leaden skies. I've forgotten what the sun looks like.

'It was so scary' - woman airlifted from rooftop after flash flood

A woman  who climbed onto her roof after her house flooded says logs and water were smashing through the windows.



Torrential rain slammed Tolaga Bay north of Gisborne overnight and the woman, her partner and their four-year-old grand-daughter had to be airlifted off their house this morning.

The woman, who RNZ has agreed not to name, said the water inside was shoulder height and they could not open their doors because of debris build up.



Flooding and debris on the road near Tolaga Bay. Flooding and debris on the road near Tolaga Bay. Photo: Supplied.
"Around 3.30 in the morning we woke up and could hear the sound of water flapping as it came into the house.

"There was water and silt everywhere, we couldn't open the doors, it was dark... it was so scary."

The Uawa river in flood at Tolaga Bay.The Uawa river in flood at Tolaga Bay. Photo: Supplied.

She said at around 4am it got worse
.
"The rain just wouldn't let up, and we could hear rumbling. Then the wood and debris just started cracking and coming through our windows."

"Luckily my partner was able to break through the clearlite above our deck so I climbed up through the hole onto the roof and then pulled my moko up."

She said around 7am, once morning light came, they could see the extent of the devastation.

"The woolshed has been washed away, the boat's just in the middle of the paddock and just silt and water flowing down from the hills with just big huge logs and that, just everywhere."

"Our house is just planted with a river just flowing all around us, there's a power pole down and everything is gone, but we're safe and we're good and that's all that matters."

She said she had just enough time to grab a small bag with warm clothes for her granddaughter, towels and their driver's licence.

"But nothing else... when it's a flash massive flood like that you've just gotta go."
She said her partner had previously put up stopbanks in case of flooding, but they were no match for the rain.

Their home, vehicles and contents are insured.

Uawa river in flood at Tolaga Bay.Uawa river in flood at Tolaga Bay. Photo: Supplied.

Torrential rain slams the country, more on the way
Torrential rain could cause chaos on the roads as holiday makers head home this long weekend.


4 June, 2018

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are have slammed the top of the North Island causing flooding and road closures.

Poor driving conditions could mean long delays for people returning home at the end of the long weekend.

Drivers are being asked to be extremely careful and avoid the area if possible.
Northland can expect a pelting over the next 24 hours, while Auckland and the Coromandel will be hit with rain until this evening, as a front moves south towards Gisborne and the East Cape.

The Transport Agency says there are still multiple areas of surface flooding around the Bay of Plenty district, and the potential for slips and debris on the road is high.

The holiday road toll stands at two.

Meanwhile, roads in the Thames and Coromandel area have now reopened but motorists can expect some delays as workers continue to remove debris.

On the East Coast, about 20 residents in the Tolaga Bay area have evacuated their homes due to flooding.

Torrential rain has caused flooding in Whangara.Torrential rain has caused flooding in Whangara. Photo: Kristin Kirkpatrick

The Tolaga Bay area was hardest hit by torrential rain and flooding overnight, but Civil Defence thinks rivers have now peaked.

Almost one hundred people are thought to be without power, but linesman can't get in to fix it because the roads are blocked with debris.


Civil Defence is also monitoring two other households who may need to be airlifted out.

State Highway 2 at Mangatuna Road north of Tolaga Bay has been closed and at Whangara, where water has reached the bottom of the Waiomoko Bridge.
In Kaiti, east of Gisborne, diluted sewage is being discharged on the Gladstone Bridge to cope with a stormwater overflow.

The Gisborne District Council says the discharge is diluted but could be a risk to human health.

While it's been a wet, windy and cold holiday weekend for most, there's still more to come.

MetService warn of heavy rain for the northern and eastern regions of the North Island and eastern Marlborough, strong southerly gales for eastern Otago, and significant snow for the bottom of the South Island.

There is a possibility of rainfall reaching warning level in Northland, northern Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, northern Gisborne and eastern Marlborough beforeTuesday morning.

Snow fall is expected to fall to low levels in the south of the South Island tomorrow night, with a possibility this may accumulate to warning levels, above 400 metres, during the period to Wednesday morning.

Coastal Clutha and Dunedin areas may experience severe south-southwest gale strength winds from Tuesday evening to early Wednesday morning.




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