Torrential rain, high winds, and even a reported tornado have
caused chaos across the country today, bringing slips,
floods, evacuations, and damage to property.
But weather forecasters say we're over the worst of the
weather, with rain moving east and easing to scattered
The Thames-Coromandel area has been hit particularly hard by
thunderstorms and torrential rain, causing widespread surface
While the rain is easing, police in Waikato urged motorists
to remain cautious and expect delays due to dozens of slips
Campers at a Cooks Beach camping ground were moved to a local
community hall early this morning. Campers at an Opoutere
camping ground near Whangamata were given the option of a
voluntary relocation to the local primary school after
consultation with camp managers, the Rural Fire Service and
"The eastern side of the peninsula appears to have been hit
the hardest and with the next high tide due at 4.38pm there
is concern that water level may rise again and we're urging
people intending travelling to the area to delay their trip
if possible," said Sergeant Jim Corbett, officer in charge of
Thames-Coromandel road policing.
The main areas affected by flooding are north of Tairua on
SH25 heading towards Whitianga where the north bound lane has
been closed. A slip is causing delays to both lanes on the
same highway at Pumpkin Hill.
Other parts of SH25 affected by flooding are around
Whitianga, particularly near the intersection with Wade Rd,
Golf Rd and stretches of the Te Rerenga Kuaotuna Rd.
Parts of Pauanui are also flooded.
Travellers are advised to continue to monitor weather
forecasts and the NZTA Highway Information website.
Police have also been receiving constant reports of surface
flooding across western Bay of Plenty.
"Police are appealing for all drivers to avoid the area or
stay at home until later this afternoon to allow for the
flooding to recede," a spokesman said.
A small tornado reportedly blew through Papamoa Beach shortly
after 10am today, causing damage to house roofs.
Fire Service appliances from Papamoa and Mount Maunganui have
been called to the Wairakei Ave area after reports of
weather-damage and flooding.
"We are in attendance at several properties that have either
sustained flooding or have had roofs lifted in the Papamoa
area," a Fire Service spokesman told APNZ.
There has been no reports of injuries.
Wairakei Ave resident Anne Bernard said the tornado passed
right over her house.
"It was like a wall of rain and wind, swirling around," she
"I was on the phone at the time and I couldn't hear anything.
It was like a howling sound.
"It hit our backyard. I was standing at the ranchslider
looking out. The rain was so heavy and dense that you
couldn't actually see anything outside of it."
Her property escaped any damage - "just chairs blowing
around, pots turned over" - but her neighbours have had tiles
blown off their rooftops.
"Our next door neighbour on the other side, they've got a
two-storey house and their living room is flooded, just with
the sheer volume of water coming under their ranchslider."
MetService meteorologist Elke Louw said the rain has started
to subside in the Coromandel.
"There could still be a few showers this afternoon, but the
low pressure is moving eastwards."
A severe weather warning has now been issued for Bay of
Plenty, with heavy rainfall expected to continue for the rest
of today, only easing overnight.
"For Gisborne, north of Ruatoria, from 3pm this afternoon
till 3am tomorrow morning, they could be looking at 80-100mm
at accumulation," Ms Louw said.
And it spells bad news for the ODI cricket match between New
Zealand and the West Indies in Napier this afternoon.
"It's not looking good for the cricket," the forecaster said.
The weather improves the further south you go.
While it's raining in Nelson, Marlborough, Buller, northern
Westland, and Christchurch, the rest of the South Island is