High winds, heavy rain and flooding hits Aotearoa

By Mānia Clarke

Severe weather has hit the country.  A major storm, with high winds, heavy rain and flooding have been forecasted. The first hit Northland early this morning and has steadily made its way South.

According to Metservice the heaviest rain is expected in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, northern Gisborne, Mount Taranaki, Tongariro National Park, the Tararua Range, Marlborough, and Nelson.

In Auckland, people took to Facebook showing pictures of surface flooding at Little Shoal Bay in Birkenhead. Piha domain camp has closed. Officials started evacuating campers from 9.30am due to a King tide predicted to hit tonight. Tāmaki Drive was closed momentarily.

For the Waikato region, although they're expecting heavy wind and rain, there are no concerns for the Waikato river levels.

For the Thames-Coromandel. They're expected rain from 100-150mm and wind of rain across the Coromandel Peninsula, winds up to 120km per hour.

In Fielding, a post on Facebook showed flooding in Fielding with a person rowing a kayak down the middle of a street.

Emergency services advising people across the affected areas to use common sense. Keep an eye along coastal and water areas. Stay off travel plans tonight, as the storm is expected to be in full swing and travel tomorrow.

In Thames council staff were out today warning freedom campers in low lying area's to move to higher ground. The Thames Civil Defence operation centre is monitoring the conditions.

The Thames-Coromandel Civil Defence Controller says they are expecting a King Tide later tonight which will be problematic.

South Island, Nelson and upper eastern coasts of the South Island remain wet Friday morning with heavy rain watches and warnings in place. Rain is expected to ease during Friday in the afternoon. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for inland parts of the lower South Island from midday.