Dangerous sea conditions are expected to strike Auckland this
afternoon as ex tropical Cyclone Lusi whips down the North
The storm has turned its attention to Auckland from the Far
North, resulting in thousands without power, surface
flooding, landslips, rockfalls and trees down around the
Auckland Civil Defence is urging beach-goers to steer clear
of the ocean after dangerous conditions that affected
Northland this morning would be mirrored further south.
Large wave surges were expected to hit around Orewa about
5pm, Auckland Council said.
Civil Defence controller Clive Manley said people needed to
be very careful, especially later this afternoon and into the
evening on or near east coast beaches in Rodney and the North
"We are expecting bad sea conditions which may cause erosion
of beaches and nearby low-lying areas.
"People should stay out of the water and off those beaches
for the rest of today."
The Auckland Harbourmaster has advised three boats had to be
secured after they broke moorings today.
Because of conditions in the harbour, a ship has been
redirected to shelter off the Coromandel Peninsula.
Forecasts have indicated that accumulations might be higher
than previously modelled, with rainfall north of Orewa could
increase to an additional 50mm - 70mm today, with lesser
amounts for the rest of the region, Mr Manley said.
Winds were still expected to increase in strength and peak
Meanwhile, the fire service has been busy attending about 80
callouts during the day, mostly for downed trees on
powerlines, which has cut power to thousands.
Fire crews also secured a roof in Orewa that was being lifted
by strong winds, a spokesman said.
The damaging storm has brought gales and driving rain to the
Far North and it was now tracking south along the country.
Strong easterly winds gusting to 120km/h blew a shed through
power lines at Whangarei Heads overnight, cutting power to
2000 homes, a Northpower spokesman said.
Residents affected were in towns along the east coast.
More than 7700 Vector customers also had their power out
around the Auckland area today, with crews working to
Those affected were in Waimauku, Whitford, Omaha, Cockle Bay,
Remuera , Stanmore Bay, Arkles Bay, Red Beach, Wellsford and
Stormwater blockages from debris and persistent rainfall were
causing isolated surface flooding around the region, Auckland
Civil Defence and Emergency Management duty officer Jamie
A rockfall also blocked part of the Hibiscus Coast Highway at
Waiwera this morning.
WeatherWatch.co.nz analyst Philip Duncan said the storm still
retained category 1 strength winds with sustained gales near
the centre and gusts over 100km/h.
The terrain of New Zealand was helping boost those wind
speeds further in some exposed parts of Northland.
In Auckland winds were gale force in some places while other
suburbs are fairly calm, he said.
Severe weather warnings have been issued for Northland,
Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne,
Nelson and Marlborough.
Housing New Zealand also said it would make extra staff
available over the weekend, with maintenance contractors
ready to deal with any urgent repairs.
However, residents in at-risk coastal areas have been told
it's a case of ``neighbour helping neighbour'' to ensure
The brunt of Cyclone Lusi's force was expected to strike the
North Island throughout today, before gradually weakening as
it moves into the South Island tomorrow.
The storm should be clear of New Zealand by Monday, with only
a few showers and brisk winds remaining in the south and
Canterbury was bracing itself for more flooding, with the
Christchurch City Council saying it was preparing for the
worst case scenario following recent damaging floods in the
About 22,000 sandbags will be filled and ready for collection
in various locations across the city by noon today, with all
emergency response teams on stand-by.