More flooding tipped for Northland

Flooding in Northland could get dramatically worse tonight as more intense rainfall is forecast for the region.

A further 80mm to 120mm is forecasted for Northland before 9am tomorrow.

Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group spokesman Graeme MacDonald said the east coast of Northland and central areas between Kaitaia and Whangarei would be most affected.

"The heaviest falls are expected overnight Friday and early Saturday morning, when intensities may reach 15 to 25mm per hour, or even 30mm per hour in isolated spots."

Mr MacDonald said given the amount of existing flooding rainfall of the intensity predicted would immediately increase surface flooding dramatically.

Severe gales are also forecast for the region tonight.

Mr MacDonald said gusts of up to 100km/h were expected and they may be sustained for a time.

He said power companies, which have been working hard to restore power to thousands of affected customers, had some concerns these could bring down trees whose roots were already loose in sodden ground.

Far North power company Top Energy this morning reported it still had about 3600 customers without electricity and was continuing to work hard in adverse conditions to reduce that as much as possible.

In the Whangarei and Kaipara Districts, Northpower reported all but several hundred customers now have power.

Mr MacDonald says many of those will have been without power for several days now and authorities – including the Ministry of Social Development and others – were working today to make sure any resulting welfare needs, including food, would be met.

Philip Duncan of WeatherWatch said the nor'east winds were gale force at times in exposed parts of the Auckland region today.

These would increase towards 100km/h late today and overnight, Mr Duncan said.


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