The effects of Cyclone Gabrielle are already being felt in large parts of the upper North Island.
Tens of thousands are without power and others have no mobile phone coverage after heavy rain and strong winds.
Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Tairāwhiti, Ōpōtiki, Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel, and Whakatāne are all under states of emergency.
Official Government advice:
Severe impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle are now being seen across the upper North Island.
Red Weather warnings are in place for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Gisborne and Taranaki, with ORANGE warnings for the rest of the North Island as well as the top of the South (Marlborough, Nelson and Buller).
If it is safe to do so, stay at home. Avoid all non-essential travel.
Have an evacuation plan in case your home becomes unsafe to stay in.
If you have evacuated, please stay where you are until you are given the all-clear to go home.
Stay away from floodwater and never drive through floodwaters.
Check in on neighbours and family members if it is safe to do so
Please stay up to date with the forecasts from MetService and continue to follow the advice of civil defence and emergency services.
Advice on how to get prepared, including in te reo Māori, is at getready.govt.nz
- Call 111 if you feel in any danger
- Stay safe. Don’t take any chances.
What else you need to know:
- About 58,000 people at the top of the North Island are without power, including 13,000 in Auckland
- All trains are suspended in Auckland until at least midday on Tuesday
- All domestic flights to and from main centres into Auckland have been cancelled, along with a growing list of international flights
- The Auckland Harbour Bridge is open but authorities say it could close at any time.
- Civil Defence centres and shelters are open in Auckland. A list of where they are is here.
- If you need help and support during the emergency, visit the Auckland Emergency Management website.
- For a list of disruptions to services and facilities, visit the Interruptions to Service and Facilities page on the Auckland Council website.
- For more information on power outages in Auckland check here: Vector – https://help.vector.co.nz/map Counties Energy – http://app.countiespower.com
- For power in Northland click here or the Far North click here
For public transport information visit Auckland Transport here
- For nationwide road and travel updates visit here
Follow live updates below. App users – click here for the latest.
5:35pm – Counties Energy says power has been restored to all but 1000 properties on its network, as of 5pm.
Areas currently with large outages include Awhitu, Waikaretu, and a large cluster of smaller faults in the Hunua and Paparimu areas.
“The cyclone is currently expected to impact the network significantly from around 9pm tonight, particularly on the west coast of our region. We’re expecting damage to the network through until Wednesday lunchtime currently,” Counties Energy said.
“This is predicted to be widespread and for some properties to suffer prolonged outages as we struggle to gain access to locations due to slips and trees making roads impassable. We have been advising customers to prepare for prolonged outages that could last multiple days in some locations.
“Counties Energy is advising customers to have their evacuation plan ready and follow all the advice of Civil Defence. If you are medically dependent – you must have your emergency plan ready and activate it earlier rather than later.”
Their crews will be working until around 10pm, at which time they’ll stand down for safety reasons. Wind speeds are also expected to then be too high for their crews to safely work up poles. There will be fault crews working overnight to isolate power for safety. Crews will be back resolving faults at first light.
5:30pm – Waka Kotahi is closing State Highway 2 between Napier and Wairoa as heavy rain and strong winds impact the region.
It will close at 7pm for at least 12 hours. A number of slips on the road and dangerous amounts of surface flooding have led to the decision, Waka Kotahi said.
The closure will be controlled by contractors at three points – Whirinaki, Tutira and just south of Wairoa.
“Safety of all road users and contractors is always our number one priority. And while we want to keep our network open, safety comes first – that’s why the decision to close a stretch of road isn’t taken lightly,” said system manager for Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, Martin Colditz.
“The situation will be reassessed from 7am tomorrow, with an update expected mid-morning.
“The decision has just been made and it’s crucial we let people know as early as possible to give them time to get home and prepare.
“I want to thank all road users for their patience and understanding.
“Please keep an eye on Waka Kotahi Journey Planner for any updates.”
5:20pm – Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz is urging people to stay home as the whole district is now under red weather warnings.
North of Tolaga Bay has been under red weather warnings since Saturday and now Gisborne south of Tolaga Bay has been upgraded to red as well.
Between 250 to 300mm of rain is expected north of Tolaga Bay on top of what has already fallen.
From Tolaga Bay south, 100 to 150mm of rain is expected on top of what has already fallen.
The rainfall comes alongside gale-force winds up to 130kmh and waves of around 6-8m with a strong storm surge.
Tairāwhiti Civil Defence controller Ben Green said high tide at 11:45pm is a concern for the region.
“The Hikuwai River is at 12.6m and rising. Other rivers are also rising rapidly, and we are keeping a close eye on those.”
From 7pm, SH35 will be closed around the whole coast from Okitu to Ōpōtiki.
5:15pm – A part of State Highway 1 has shut.
The road is closed in both directions south of Kitchen Road, just south of Kaitaia, due to fallen trees. Waka Kotahi urges people to avoid the area and delay their journey.
5:10pm – Auckland Emergency Management has some tips on food safety during weather events like Cyclone Gabrielle, especially if the power has been cut off to your fridge or freezer at any point.
Their advice if you return to a home that’s been without power is:
- Check the food – does it smell or look different? Has the colour changed and does it have a slimy texture? If so, it’s probably unsafe to eat.
- If food is still visibly frozen and packaging isn’t damaged or open, you can still safely refreeze it. You should not refreeze food that has defrosted.
- You can still keep or use food that was frozen but has defrosted, you just need to keep it cold (like in the fridge).
Do not use any tinned food that has been damaged (for example, if the can has broken open, become deeply dented, or is heavily rusted).
They say people can visit the MPI website for advice on keeping food and water safe during natural disasters and emergencies.
5pm – Wellington’s Metlink says it is preparing for the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle across the public transport network.
Metlink general manager Samantha Gain said while the network will be running as best it can, passengers should avoid any non-essential travel.
“The safety of our passengers and staff is our top priority, so we’re urging those who don’t need to travel with Metlink over the coming days to stay at home.”
Due to the high wind warning in place, double deckers are proactively being taken off some Metlink bus routes from this evening.
“A decision on running double decker buses for tomorrow’s peak will be made when the level of wind can be assessed and we will need to be comfortable we can ensure they are able to transport people safely,” Gain said.
On the rail network, Ngauranga station will be closed to trains and a shuttle will operate between Wellington, Ngauranga and Petone in both directions.
“Given it’s exposed location, with forecast high winds and possible swells, we are unable to safely let passengers board or disembark from Ngauranga station’s platforms.”
East by West has also cancelled all of its scheduled harbour ferry sailings for tomorrow.
Metlink passengers travelling on the network tomorrow, and throughout the week, are encouraged to know before they go.
Any updates or disruptions to service will be posted to Metlink’s website and app.
4:50pm – Here is an update from KiwiRail on rail closures and impacts on the Interislander due to Cyclone Gabrielle.
Rail update, from KiwiRail chief operations officer Siva Sivapakkiam:
Given weather expected to worsen overnight in Auckland and move further across the North Island, we have decided to keep rail lines in Auckland and down the country towards Marton closed until tomorrow.
With heavy rain and high winds pushing further south, this evening we will also be closing rail lines from Napier, Taranaki and Palmerston North down to Waikanae. The Wellington rail network will remain open.
If its safe to do so, we will have track inspection teams out across the Auckland Metro Network and the other North Island rail lines tomorrow morning. Once we have an understanding of damage caused by the weather and the repairs required, we will be able to look at reopening lines. At best, this would not happen before tomorrow afternoon.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, 14 February) we are also planning to close the rail line between Picton and Christchurch, with heavy rain and wind moving onto the top of the South Island. We expect to be able to inspect and reopen the line on Wednesday.
We fully appreciate the disruption these line closures cause but the safety of our staff and commuters is crucial.
Note: due to line closures the two inter-regional passenger trains Te Huia and the Capital Connection, and the Coastal Pacific (Picton – Christchurch scenic train), will not run tomorrow. The Northern Explorer (scenic train) is expected to make its next scheduled departure from Auckland on Thursday. Freight services are also on hold. Please see Auckland Transport for information about Auckland metro commuter services.
Interislander update, from Interislander executive general manager Walter Rushbrook:
Due to the bad weather expected in Cook Strait as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle we have made the decision to cancel Interislander sailings for 24 hours from 2am Tuesday. The cancellations affect 12 sailings.
Safety is our top priority and the weather has made cancellation the only option.
We have also been advised Picton Port is closed due to high wind/swell conditions until 10pm tomorrow night.
Customers are being contacted and we will review the situation tomorrow.
We appreciate the understanding of our passengers and customers.
4:45pm – Trees have started to fall on Scenic Drive, Titirangi, west Auckland, blocking traffic.
4:40pm – A state of emergency has been declared for the Hauraki District.
“We have an unfolding situation with our close neighbours, Thames-Coromandel District being devastatingly affected by ex Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle, our connecting roads being prepared to close, and evacuations likely in some places, we will need the additional resources that we can access under a Declaration of a State of Emergency,” said Mayor Toby Adams.
“The main areas of concern are our coastal and low lying areas. By declaring a state of emergency early we are empowering our emergency support services and our staff to be able to manage any situation that develops in a way that keeps people safe and protects property and out of harm’s way.”
The situation is “weather-dependent and will depend to some degree on the how much of the predicted rainfall we actually get,” he added.
“The District is already saturated and the rainfall being predicted will likely isolate our communities and cut off access to the Coromandel through Waihi,” Adams said.
“Please avoid all travel, stay safe and have an evacuation plan ready.”
4:35pm – Hauraki Gulf Weather says Cyclone Gabrielle has started moving more south in the last hour.
4:30pm – Vector says that as of 3:30pm, nearly 13,000 of its Auckland customers are without power.
Around a thousand field crews and support staff are helping with Vector’s power restoration effort, a spokesperson says. In some cases there are multiple faults occurring and, as they restore power, another fault happens in the same area.
“But rest assured, our crews are committed to getting customers’ power back on and are doing everything they safely can to fix the existing and new faults. As previously advised, there are conditions when our crews will have to stop work due to unsafe working conditions,” they say.
“There are ways you can help too, so that we can direct our efforts in the most effective way possible. If you have logged an outage, and it is showing up on our outage centre, please do not call to log it again. We will assign a crew and get to you as soon as possible.
“We know how stressful it can be, especially if your power is out for extended periods of time, but multiple calls or online entries about the same address can slow down our ability to respond.”
There’s information about the restoration process and what to expect on Vector’s website: Storm damage: what to expect if you lose your power
To report an outage or check an address for an outage go to: Vector.co.nz/outages
4:25pm – Countdown is closing a large amount of its stores early today.
“This decision will mean our team can get home before the worst of the weather hits while ensuring our supply chain can keep running as smoothly as possible,” a Countdown spokesperson said.
The Countdown stores listed will close early today. At this stage, all of stores will reopen as normal tomorrow.
“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and would like to thank our customers in advance for their understanding as we work to keep everyone safe,” the spokesperson said.
“Customers can find their updated local store hours here. There may also be impacts to our online orders and we’ll be in touch with customers directly if their order is affected.”
Closed at 2pm:
Closing at 6pm:
Countdown Paeroa, Countdown Te Aroha, Countdown Katikati.
Closing at 7pm:
Countdown Gisborne, Countdown Bayfair, Countdown Bethlehem, Countdown Bureta Park, Countdown Fraser Cove, Countdown Greerton, Countdown Papamoa, Countdown Tauranga, Countdown Te Puke, Countdown Whakatane, Countdown Otorohanga.
Closing at 8pm:
Countdown Dargaville, Countdown Kaikohe, Countdown Kerikeri, Countdown Regent, Countdown Waitangi, Countdown Warkworth, Countdown Whangārei, Countdown Bridge Street, Countdown Chartwell, Countdown Claudelands, Countdown Hamilton, Countdown Huntly, Countdown Rototuna, Countdown St James, Countdown Dinsdale, Countdown Nawton, Countdown Te Rapa, Countdown Cambridge, Countdown Tokoroa, Countdown Putaruru, Countdown Matamata, Countdown Morrinsville, Countdown Te Awamutu, Countdown Stratford, Countdown Hawera, Countdown Vogeltown, Countdown New Plymouth Central, Countdown The Valley, Countdown Spotswood, Countdown Victoria Ave, Countdown Wanganui, Countdown Carlyle, Countdown Central Mall, Countdown Fairy Springs, Countdown Hastings, Countdown Napier, Countdown Rotorua, Countdown Taupō, Countdown Taupō South, Countdown Waipukurau, Countdown Broadway, Countdown Fielding, Countdown Kelvin Grove, Countdown Levin, Countdown Otaki, Countdown Palmerston North, Countdown Paraparaumu, Countdown Rangitikei St, Countdown Waikanae, Countdown Marton, Countdown Awapuni, Countdown Aotea, Countdown Lower Hutt, Countdown Maidstone, Countdown Masterton, Countdown Petone, Countdown Porirua, Countdown Queensgate, Countdown Upper Hutt, Countdown Wainuiomata, Countdown Cable Car Lane, Countdown Crofton Downs, Countdown Johnsonville, Countdown Johnsonville Mall, Countdown Karori, Countdown Kilbirnie, Countdown Newtown, Countdown Tawa.
Closing at 9pm:
Countdown Birkenhead, Countdown Browns Bay, Countdown Glenfield, Countdown Hauraki Corner, Countdown Mairangi Bay, Countdown Milford, Countdown Northcote, Countdown Sunnynook, Countdown Takapuna, Countdown Hobsonville, Countdown Orewa, Countdown Silverdale, Countdown Whangaparaoa, Countdown Helensville, Countdown Henderson, Countdown Lincoln Road, Countdown Northwest, Countdown Te Atatu, Countdown Te Atatu South, Countdown Westgate, Countdown Blockhouse Bay, Countdown Lynfield, Countdown Lynnmall, Countdown Mt Roskill, Countdown Onehunga, Countdown Three Kings, Countdown Auckland Airport, Countdown Mangere East, Countdown Mangere Mall, Countdown Pt Chevalier, Countdown Kelston, Countdown Albert St Metro, Countdown Auckland City, Countdown Victoria Street Metro, Countdown Grey Lynn, Countdown Halsey Street Metro, Countdown Mount Eden, Countdown Herne Bay, Countdown Ponsonby, Countdown St Lukes, Countdown Greenlane, Countdown Newmarket, Countdown Waiheke Island, Countdown Aviemore Drive, Countdown Beachlands, Countdown Botany, Countdown Highland Park, Countdown Howick, Countdown Meadowbank, Countdown Meadowlands, Countdown Mt Wellington, Countdown Pakuranga, Countdown St Johns, Countdown Manukau, Countdown Mankau City Mall, Countdown Manurewa, Countdown Papakura, Countdown Papatoetoe, Countdown Roselands, Countdown Takanini, Countdown Pukekohe, Countdown Pukekohe South, Countdown Pokeno, Countdown Waiata Shores.
4:20pm – Here’s an update from Tauranga City Council, which is urging residents to conserve water:
Tauranga City Council is calling for residents to conserve water over the next few days as its water treatment plants come under pressure from storm sediment.
Council’s water services manager Peter Bahrs says bad weather from Cyclone Gabrielle could seriously affect the city’s water treatment plants.
“It’s highly likely the rain the city experiences over the next few days will stir up sediment in local streams. This extra sediment makes treating the water a lot harder, and it’s probable we’ll need to shut down our treatment plants for a time,” he says.
In the event of a shutdown Tauranga reservoirs hold enough drinkable water to last 24-48 hours.
“We appreciate your ongoing support in conserving water while we weather this storm together,” says Peter.
4:19pm – Parliament will sit this week, but Hipkins said there are some logistical challenges because several MPs are stuck in Auckland.
The press conference has now finished.
4:17pm – Princess Anne is visiting New Zealand this week, and Hipkins says as far as he’s aware, her visit hasn’t been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
4:15pm – Hipkins says first responders will be brought in from other areas of the country if they are needed.
He adds the military has been on the ground in Auckland since the beginning and are standing by to assist with Cyclone Gabrielle.
4:12pm – Hipkins says many businesses have been hit hard by the severe weather events that have hammered the country at the start of this year.
He says when he has phone calls with world leaders in the coming days, he believes he will be asked about New Zealand’s weather, and adds these severe events do feed into the discussion of the impacts the world is seeing from climate change.
4:10pm – Back to the press conference, and Hipkins says the Government will work with local communities to make sure they get the funding and support they need.
He says the weather is “notoriously unpredictable” and the Government is ready to adapt.
4:05pm – The Waikato District Council has declared a state of emergency. It will last for an initial period of seven days.
“The decision to declare was made with the safety of the public forefront of mind,” says Waikato district Mayor Jacqui Church.
“With the worst of the weather due to hit overnight, we want to ensure that we are ready to respond taking whatever action necessary to keep our people safe.
The decision was made based on modelling and a risk assessment which indicates several areas of high risk, including low lying areas near the Waikato river at Port Waikato, the council said.
4:04pm – Hipkins thanked first responders and emergency service workers for their work during Cyclone Gabrielle.
“From the bottom of all of our hearts, we say thank you.”
4:02pm – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has arrived.
He says things are likely to get worse before they get better with Cyclone Gabrielle.
Around 46,000 people have lost their power, with the majority (around 40,000) in Northland. He says the start of the year has been incredibly challenging for the upper North Island.
4pm – The Government has announced a raft of support for NGOs and community groups.
The support package includes:
- $4 million for providers to ensure they can meet increased demand and support wellbeing of their staff and volunteers due to flooding and cyclone
- $1 million to replenish stocks at food banks currently experiencing high demand
- $2 million of grants for community groups to support flood response
- $4 million expansion of the scope of Community Connectors to support Auckland and impacted regions’ flood response efforts
- $500,000 ring fenced funding to respond to the needs of disabled people.
Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said the $11.5 million package will help tens of thousands of people affected by the recent floods and as regions prepare to respond to Cyclone Gabrielle.
“Community organisations, groups and iwi have mobilised quickly to support people and whānau who have been impacted and displaced as a result of the unprecedented flooding. However it’s clear that demand for support is exceeding funding available for these groups to respond quickly to need in the community,” she said in a statement.
“This support package will provide immediate relief for individuals and families, bespoke support for disabled people like transport assistance, as well as support for the voluntary sector who continue to be at the heart of their communities and our response.”
Sepuloni said over 25,000 people have been supported with food, clothing, shelter, bedding and medication.
“While we’re not out of the woods yet and the full extent of both adverse weather events unfolding, we need to act swiftly to ensure people can continue to access support, whether that be through their church, marae or youth group for example. Our focus remains on the most affected communities including Māori, Pacific, disabled, youth and our ethnic communities, and the organisations and groups that work to support them,” Sepuloni said.
“As part of our response, we’re also enabling our Community Connectors, who were established as part of our welfare response to COVID-19, to support the Auckland and impacted regions flood relief, and as regions prepare for cyclone Gabrielle. They’re a trusted interface for individuals and families and play an important part in helping households to access community and government support.”
The package comes after previous supports that were announced, including the $5 million support packaged for Auckland businesses, support to provide public transport assistance for disabled people, Civil Defence Emergency Management payments, MSD’s Hardship Assistance payments, Rural Assistance payments as well as the Enhanced Taskforce Green programme which can be tapped into to support the clean-up.
3:57pm – All trains in Auckland are cancelled until at least midday on Tuesday, Auckland Transport says.
Additionally, all ferry services will be finishing early tonight as conditions are expected to worsen on the Waitemata Harbour, they added.
3:55pm – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is due to hold his post-Cabinet press conference at 4pm.
The stream is now coming through in the video player at the top of this page. Refresh the page if you can’t see it.
3:50pm – Newshub’s Heather Keats has another update on Cyclone Gabrielle – and it isn’t good news for coastal areas.
3:45pm – The Whakatāne District has declared a state of local emergency.
Whakatāne District Acting Mayor Lesley Immink said the declaration provides additional Emergency Management powers to the District Controller and enables the Civil Defence response to call on support from outside the district if required.
“Emergency Management powers allows our response team to do things like close off areas, evacuate people and get the resources needed to respond to this event,” Immink said.
A mandatory evacuation order now applies to:
- All homes in West End Ōhope, up to and including Beach Point Apartment complex.
- Approximately nine homes identified on Harbour Road, Port Ōhope that are particularly low-lying. These residents will be contacted directly.
“Police are represented in the EOC and aware of security concerns that people may have leaving their homes and are planning accordingly,” Immink added.
A road block will be in place to West End and managed by Police from early evening. Those who must evacuate from affected properties will have until 7pm to leave. The mandatory evacuation will be in place until 3pm Tuesday. Re-entry will be reassessed tomorrow after high tide at 1:35pm.
A dedicated emergency evacuation centre has been set up at Whakatāne War Memorial Hall and opened at midday today for those who must, or choose to evacuate, and do not have family or friends to go to.
To keep up to date with the District’s response to Cyclone Gabrielle, go to the Whakatāne District Council Facebook page and website, and listen to local radio stations 1XX and Sun FM.
3:35pm – NZ Post says they are suspending all delivery operations in Northland and the Coromandel due to the extreme weather and impact Cyclone Gabrielle is having.
“In Auckland this morning we decided to stand down all posties. We did, however, allow our Auckland couriers to continue with caution but have this afternoon made the decision (that unless conditions are safe and suitable to do so) all deliveries in Auckland, the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne areas, will also be suspended,” they said in a statement.
“Tonight, we will also be standing down our entire air network operations. This is due to the forecast wind conditions in Auckland and Palmerston North over the next 24 hours.
“Last week, when the weather warnings were first put in place, we set up a central incident team to coordinate our preparations and response. This team’s focus is to support our teams and contractors across the network.
“Our first step was to remind all of our teams and contractors that their safety should be their priority and remind them about our guidelines on safe working practices.”
NZ Post said they are monitoring Cyclone Gabrielle closely and will return to normal operations when it’s safe to do so.
3:25pm – Auckland Emergency Management has put together some information on how to cope during a power outage, including how to safely heat your home and keep yourself warm, and accessing medical help.
3:20pm – MetService has just updated its heavy rain and strong wind warnings and watches. The latest information is below.
The severe thunderstorm watch issued earlier for parts of the South Island is still in place and the information for that hasn’t changed.
Heavy Rain Warning – Red
Impact: This rain is expected to cause dangerous river conditions and significant flooding. Slips and floodwaters are likely to disrupt travel, making some roads impassable and possibly isolating communities.
- Period: 14hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – midnight Mon, 13 Feb
- Forecast: Heavy rain should become confined to the south and west this afternoon as severe southeast gales change southwest. Expect a further 100 to 160 mm of rain to accumulate south of about Kaikohe on top of what has already fallen (especially in the south and west), and lesser amounts elsewhere. Peak intensities of 10 to 15 mm/h, but 20 to 30 mm/h in the south this evening. Note, a further period of heavy rain is likely in the west, expect another 50 to 80 mm, but localised 80 to 120 mm to accumulate in a 12 hour period from midnight Monday to midday Tuesday.
Auckland, including Great Barrier Island and other islands in the Hauraki Gulf
- Period: 17hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 3am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect a further 120 to 200 mm of rain on top of what has already fallen. Peak intensities of 10 to 15 mm/h, but 25 to 40 mm/h possible late this afternoon and evening. Note, lesser amounts of rainfall expected for the islands in the region.
- Period: 20hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 6am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect a further 250 to 320 mm of rain about the ranges on top of what has already fallen, and 100 to 150 mm about the coast. Peak intensities of 10 to 15 mm/h, but 25 to 40 mm/h about the ranges this afternoon and evening.
Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay
- Period: 18hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 4am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect a further 250 to 350 mm of rain or possibly more inland on top of what has already fallen, and 120 to 200 mm of rain about the coast. Peak intensities of 10 to 15 mm/h, but 25 to 40 mm/h about the ranges this afternoon and evening. Note, further showers are possible during Tuesday, some could be heavy.
Gisborne, from Tolaga Bay southwards
- Period: 20hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 6am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect 100 to 150 mm of rain, but 150 to 300 mm about the ranges including the Whareratas. Peak intensities of 10 to 20 mm/h, but 20 to 30 mm/h about the ranges this evening. Note, further rain or showers expected during Tuesday, some could be heavy during Tuesday afternoon and evening.
- Period: 21hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 7am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect 250 to 350 mm of rain in the ranges and the eastern hills south of Napier, possibly up to 400 mm in the Ruahine Range, and 100 to 150 mm elsewhere. Peak intensities of 10 to 20 mm/h in general, but 25 to 40 mm/h about the ranges this evening and overnight Monday. Note, further showers expected during Tuesday, some could be heavy.
Strong Wind Warning – Red
Impact: These winds are expected to produce widespread damage, especially to trees and powerlines and could lift roofs. Transport and power networks are likely to be significantly impacted, with road closures and power outages. Conditions will be hazardous for motorists and there is a danger to life from flying debris and falling trees or branches.
- Period: 35hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 9pm Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Severe southeast gales, with gusts reaching 120 to 130 km/h, changing severe southwest this afternoon, gusting 130 to 140 km/h at times especially this evening and Tuesday morning.
Auckland, including Great Barrier Island and other islands in the Hauraki Gulf
- Period: 38hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – midnight Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Severe southeast gales, changing severe south to southwest this evening. Gusts reaching 120 to 130 km/h in exposed places.
- Period: 23hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 9am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Severe gale east to southeasterlies, with gusts reaching 120 to 130 km/h in exposed places. Winds are expected to turn west to southwest Tuesday afternoon and may approach severe gale in exposed places, and this Warning could be extended.
- Period: 24hrs from 6pm Mon, 13 Feb – 6pm Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Southeast winds are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h in exposed places, turning severe southerly gale gusting 120 km/h Tuesday morning, but damaging gusts of 130 to 140 km/h or higher are expected at times during Tuesday morning.
Heavy Rain Warning – Orange
Impact: Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.
- Period: 20hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 6am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect 100 to 150 mm of rain to accumulate. Peak rates of 10 to 20 mm/h.
Bay of Plenty west of Whakatane
- Period: 20hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 6am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect 100 to 180 mm of rain to accumulate. Peak rates of 10 to 15 mm/h, but 20 to 30 mm/h possible this afternoon and evening.
- Period: 17hrs from 7pm Mon, 13 Feb – noon Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect 120 to 180 mm of rain to accumulate. Peak rates of 15 to 25 mm/h.
Wairarapa including the Tararua District
- Period: 16hrs from 11pm Mon, 13 Feb – 3pm Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect 120 to 180 mm of rain about the ranges and eastern hills, and 80 to 120 mm in lower lying areas. Peak rates of 10 to 15 mm/h, but 20 to 30 mm/h overnight Monday about the ranges and eastern hills.
Eastern Marlborough south of Blenheim, including Kaikoura Coast
- Period: 18hrs from 6am Tue, 14 Feb – midnight Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Expect 100 to 160 mm of rain or more to accumulate. Peak rates of 10 to 20 mm/h.
Strong Wind Warning – Orange
Impact: Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.
Marlborough, Tasman including Nelson, and Buller
- Period: 24hrs from 9pm Mon, 13 Feb – 9pm Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Southeast winds are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h in exposed places.
Waikato, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Taupo, Taihape, Bay of Plenty, and Gisborne
- Period: 23hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 9am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Southeast winds, severe gale gusting 120 km/h to 130 km/h in exposed places.
Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa including the Tararua District, Wellington, Whanganui and Manawatu
- Period: 21hrs from 3pm Mon, 13 Feb – noon Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: East to southeast winds are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h in exposed places.
Horowhenua and the Kapiti Coast
- Period: 18hrs from 6pm Mon, 13 Feb – noon Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: East to southeast winds are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h in exposed places, but damaging gusts of 130 km/h or higher are possible from Monday night through to around dawn on Tuesday.
Heavy Rain Watch
Bay of Plenty from Whakatane eastwards and eastern ranges of Taupo
- Period: 20hrs from 10am Mon, 13 Feb – 6am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Periods of heavy easterly rain. Rainfall accumulations may approach warning criteria.
Waitomo, Taranaki north of the Mountain, Taumarunui, and Taupo away from the eastern ranges
- Period: 15hrs from 3pm Mon, 13 Feb – 6am Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Periods of heavy rain. Rainfall amounts may approach or possibly reach warning criteria in some places.
Canterbury Plains north Christchurch
- Period: 16hrs from 11am Tue, 14 Feb – 3am Wed, 15 Feb
- Forecast: Periods of heavy rain. Rainfall amounts may approach warning criteria.
Strong Wind Watch
Westland north of Fox Glacier
- Period: 23hrs from 1am Tue, 14 Feb – midnight Tue, 14 Feb
- Forecast: Southeast winds may approach severe gale in exposed places, especially inland.
3:15pm – Here’s a comparison of the Hikuwai River north of Tolaga Bay at 7am and then 2:30pm today.
3:10pm – Here’s an update from Wellington City Council on what those in the capital should be doing to prepare:
Wellingtonians should be prepared for gale-force southerly winds and heavy rain over the next 24 hours as Cyclone Gabrielle passes over central Aotearoa New Zealand.
Wellington City Council staff and contractors are on standby to deal with flooding, slips and fallen trees if the cyclone hits hard.
An Orange wind warning is in place for Wellington from 6pm today through to noon Tuesday. East to southeast winds are forecast to be severe at times, with gusts reaching 120 km/h in exposed places.
While the latest forecasts indicate that the impact will not be too severe for Wellington city, strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.
The City Council’s emergency management staff met with staff from the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO), local councils, emergency services and infrastructure providers this morning to get the most up to date information and discuss preparations.
City Council Resilience Manager Chris Mathews says Wellingtonians should prepare by securing large, light or loose objects in their homes and backyards – for example trampolines.
If possible, they should also check the drains on the street outside their house to make sure they’re not blocked by leaf litter or rubbish. “If people can just run a broom over the drain or remove any plastic bottles or cans or similar – this can make a big difference if we get heavy rain.”
Council services and preparation
At this stage all council services will continue to operate as per normal, including rubbish and recycling collection.
3:00pm – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency warns road users to expect more closures as slips and flooding caused by the arrival of Cyclone Gabrielle jeopardise safe travel on State Highways in the Coromandel and East Waikato.
Road users are advised to plan ahead and, if travel is essential, to leave sooner rather than later to get through the Karangahake Gorge.
It is very likely that flooding will force the closure of State Highway 2 through the Karangahake Gorge later today.
River levels are expected to peak around 7pm this evening, however flooding is likely well before then.
In addition, the stop-gates on State Highway 26 on the Paeroa College side of the bridge may also need to be used, which will result in an additional road closure.
Close monitoring is in place.
Extreme caution is advised in all areas in the region. People are advised to stay home and not drive today and tomorrow if possible as the situation is expected to deteriorate as Cyclone Gabrielle approaches. Staying home keeps you safe and also helps our contractors move around the network more efficiently, speeding up response times. Slips can occur anywhere on the roading network.
If you must travel, please check the Journey Planner (www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz) for the most up to date information on incidents on the network.
Update on closures as of 2.30pm
SH2 Paeroa to Waihi – via Karangakake Gorge – open but expect closure
The gorge may need to be closed later today due to flooding.
SH25 Thames to Coromandel: open for essential travel only
Multiple fallen trees and debris obstructing and blocking lanes along the length of the Thames Coast.
Note – Flooding is expected later this afternoon at the Kauaeranga River spillway just near the airfield in Thames which may close SH25 here.
SH25 Coromandel to Kūaotunu: closed in areas
A slip is blocking both lanes on the Coromandel/ Whangapoua Hill and there are multiple trees down.
Due to slips, surface flooding, fallen vegetation and debris – extreme caution is advised.
SH25 Kūaotunu to Whitianga: closed
Closed at Wharekaho South and Brophy’s Beach, Whitianga due to flooding.
Extreme caution advised.
SH25 Whitianga to Hikuai – open but essential travel only. Extreme caution is advised.
SH25 Hikuai to Waihi – open
Road and surface flooding – extreme caution is advised.
A tree is blocking one lane between Whangamata to Hikuai but the road is passable.
SH26 Morrinsville to Te Aroha – closed
A fallen tree is blocking SH26 immediately south of Te Aroha, near Grattan Road
SH25A – closed
Powerlines down on Kopu side of summit slip closure.
SH26 Te Aroha to Paeroa and SH26 between Paeroa to Kopu – open
This is an evolving situation and can change at any time.
2:50pm – Metservice has tweeted a photo revealing the full extent of Cyclone Gabrielle and the size is gobsmacking. The entire North Island is covered in white storm clouds as Gabrielle engulfs New Zealand.
2:40pm – Newshub’s Heather Keat’s has done an update on Cyclone Gabrielle, saying it is due to hit Great Barrier Island at midnight and half of New Zealand is sitting under a wind warning.
Watch the full update.
2:30pm – Stacey van der Putten from Auckland Transport says there was significantly less traffic than normal this morning.
Aucklanders are being asked to stay home and off the roads unless they have an urgent need to travel. She says trains are cancelled across Auckland until midday Tuesday.
Buses are replacing trains from 3pm today and all commuter ferries are cancelled from 5pm onwards.
2:25pm – Vector’s Peter Ryan is now talking.
Ryan says 12,000 homes and businesses are without power in Auckland. Thousands of houses have been restored but others are losing power and the numbers are likely to fluctuate.
Ryan says Vector staff are working hard to get to people in Auckland without power reconnected. He says there are plenty of crews available to respond, but he teams are facing difficult conditions and some repair work may take longer than normal.
People are urged to prepare for extended outages.
2:20pm – Brad Mosby from Fire and Emergency is now giving an update.
Mosby says first responder’s safety is the top priority. He said most of the calls overnight related to wind damage, roofs lifting, trees falling on building and power lines and blocking roads.
Mosby said low-lying areas of Whangarei are being evacuated. He says FENZ has the capacity to respond in all areas that are bein affected.
“We are expecting the numbers of 111 calls to go up steeply through the day, overnight and into tomorrow.”
People should only call 111 if life is at riskfor example if people are trapped, if there is a fire etc.
2:10pm – Auckland Emergency Management’s Rachel Kelleher says Cyclone Gabrielle will get worse before it gets better and “we are not out of the woods yet.”
She says people need to evacuate if they feel unsafe and not wait to be told to.
Civil Defence and Emergency centres have been set up across Auckland and the locations are available on the AEM website.
The City Mission is working to ensure the homeless community is safe and has somewhere to stay
2:00pm – Officials are giving an update on Cyclone Gabrielle, you can watch above, on Three or Three Now.
Georgina Griffiths Metservice says Auckland is about halfway through the effects of the cyclone and is in a bit of a pause in the wind.
She said the rain has made the ground very soggy in Auckland but there have been no real incidents.
Griffiths says Great Barrier is in for a tough night because Cyclone Gabrielle is so close.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown is now talking, he says the next 24 hours are going to be tough for the city.
Brown urges everyone to keep an eye on the weather and get prepared. He says not to panic.
He thanked emergency management staff for their hard work and urged people to stay calm and stay home if it’s safe.
He says Hipkins has assured him the Government will help Aucklander through the storm and its recovery.
The Mayor says he is offering his engineering expertise to help manage drainage issues in Auckland.
1:55pm – All commuter ferries in Auckland are suspended this evening with the last sailings around 5pm.
1:45pm – Residents in Nelson Tasman are being wanted to prepare for strong winds and rain as the cyclone heads south.
Nelson Mayor Nick Smith told people to get ready.
‘We’ve seen how damaging the cyclone has been in the North Island, and we need everyone to take steps now. The Metservice has issued an Orange warning for the Southeast winds, which are expected to gust up to 120km/h. Powerlines may be affected by falling trees or branches.
“While we are not expecting heavy rain, the strong winds can be damaging, so extreme care should be taken especially in our parks and recreation areas.”.
1:35pm – The Great Barrier Island Local Board Chair has told Newshub residents on the Island are “bracing themselves for a battering.”
The island is forecast to feel the full brunt of Cyclone Gabrielle, with the worst forecast to be on Tuesday morning.
The popular holiday spot for Aucklanders has been hard hit this summer already.
“All things are pointing to this is going to be a humdinger to be honest… we haven’t had an opportunity to dry out very well over the last couple of weeks, like other parts of New Zealand,”Izzy Fordham.
“All of our contractors and their crews are out and about, including arborists, doing what they can in a safe manner. Our local police are also patrolling the island, along with Fire and Emergency NZ,” Fordham said.
All plane and ferry services to and from the island were suspended over the weekend but Sea Link and Barrier Air have helped to ensure food, fuel and gas supplies are fully stocked.
“We expect to be hunkered down like this until Wednesday and then it’ll be assessing the situation further form there,” said Fordham
In the meantime, she’s urging the community to stay safe and stay home, and if people are feeling anxious to reach out to friends, family and authorities for help.
1:25pm – Foodstuffs say customers who still need supplies should check their local store’s Facebook page to make sure it is open.
Foodstuffs CEO Chris Quin said in a statement while they have plenty of supplies, people should just buy what they need for a few days and not panic buy.
“As Cyclone Gabrielle moves down the country, we want to reassure everyone our supply chain and stores are in good shape and the preparation work we did last week is standing us in good stead, ” Quin said.
“Bread, milk and bottled water are a few of the most important groceries to North Islanders right now.
” We’ve got good supplies of water, our in-store bakeries have been ramping up production
to help keep up with bread demand – and some of our supply partners have also been changing their approaches to increase production.
“We’re asking customers to please only buy what you need for a few days, that way there’s enough for everyone when they shop.”
1:10pm – Air New Zealand says if the current weather predictions for Auckland Airport hold it will resume flights on Tuesday, after Cyclone Gabrielle moves on.
The airline is focused on getting the disrupted passengers from the 509 cancelled flights to their destinations as soon as possible.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says with 10,000 of its international customers impacted by the cyclone, every available effort is being made to rebook them.
“Rebooking is well under way with around 6,500 customers left to be rebooked as of this morning. Customers are currently being rebooked onto the next available service to give them certainty they have a flight booked.”
“Because flights are very full, some customers may receive a notification saying they won’t depart for up to 20 days after their original booking. We want to assure those customers we now have teams working to get them on an earlier flight – it’s our top priority.”
Auckland jet services will begin from mid-morning Tuesday
Turboprop services will begin from mid-afternoon Tuesday
11 domestic flights have been added to the schedule to help with recovery efforts with more to come
10,000 international customers were disrupted, with 6,500 left to be rebooked
Air New Zealand working to add capacity to bring disrupted international customers home as quickly as possible
1:00pm – Coastguard is warning all water users to stay out of the water as dangerous sea conditions continue to pummel the coast.
The Bay of Islands recorded 11-metre waves overnight and the treacherous conditions are expected to remain for the next 48 hours.
“All water-users should stay off and away from the water – it’s now too late and too dangerous to check on moorings or venture out to assess storm damage,” Coastguard Head of Operations Rob McCaw said.
“Put your own safety first by staying on land until Cyclone Gabrielle has passed, even then be aware that storm surges and unpredictable seas will continue for some time even once Gabrielle has passed.”
“Our Operations Centre is also working closely with emergency services to provide support to the many boaties who are sheltering at sea during this time and thank them for their tireless work during this ongoing emergency situation,” Rob said.
“With our teams in the Bay of Islands, Houhora, Auckland and other locations all active on taskings in the last 24 hours, please respect the weather and stay away from the water, your life is not worth the risk.”
12:50pm – Vodafone NZ CEO Jason Paris has tweeted an update on their network. There are 57 cell sites down with most in Northland and they are working to install generators where possible.
12:40pm – Northland and the Coromandel have already seen heavy rain and there is more to come.
12:15pm – Far North District Mayor Moko Tepania has told RNZ restoring power to affected households “is going to take some time”.
“Hopefully by tonight we’ll have a clearer picture on when we can try and restore power across our communities,” he said.
North Power says latest estimates suggest about 28,000 Northland households are without power.
12pm – Ports of Auckland says its operations will remain suspended on Monday and Tuesday.
“Operations will resume at 0700, Wednesday, February 15,” it said. “We continue to monitor the situation.”
11:54am – MetService is reiterating the worst of the weather is still to come for many regions.
“This is a major weather system and shouldn’t be taken lightly,” meteorologist Angus Hines said.
“We have a couple more days of wild weather ahead. We’ve never had such an extensive range of red severe weather warnings.
“Unfortunately, we expect further flooding, slips, power outages and road closures Monday and Tuesday, prolonging this unprecedented wet summer.”
11:45am – People in low-lying areas close to the rivers of Whangārei’s CBD are being told to self-evacuate before high-tide at 2pm.
“If you have nowhere safe to go, you can go to the Civil Defence Centre at McKay Stadium, 97 Western Hills Dr, Kensington,” the Whangārei District Council said in a statement.
“The advice for all other Whangārei residents is to please stay home and stay off the roads, there are a lot of trees down and surface flooding is making driving dangerous.
“If you are in immediate danger, call 111. If you need information or advice or you want to report something, please call us on 09-430-4200.”
11:30am – Below is the latest update from Fire and Emergency New Zealand:
Between 5am and 11am there were 177 calls relating to wind damage and flooding: 86 from people in Northland, 62 in Auckland, 22 in Waikato, and smaller numbers in Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay.
Most calls still relate to trees blocking roads, bringing down power lines and loose roofs. We are starting to receive a small number of calls about flooding, mostly in Whangārei.
Please continue to call 111 if life is at risk – for example if you or others are trapped and need rescue – if there is a fire – if there is a landslide – if you need to evacuate and you can’t get out safely by yourself.
11:17am – Supervalue supermarket in Pauanui is one of thousands of properties to lose power on the Coromandel Peninsula.
11:12am – Auckland power authority Vector says 16,000 Tāmaki Makaurau homes and businesses are without power.
“The strong winds mean that at times our crews have had to stop aerial work, involving equipment such as cherry pickers, because it is too dangerous,” Vector said in a statement.
“In some areas we are finding multiple faults on the same line, which slows down the restoration process, and we are facing access issues in some rural areas. Near Warkworth, for example, we need to organise an excavator to reach an area where four poles have been damaged and our trucks are unable to get close.
“The recent flooding in the Auckland area brings its own challenges, with a greater likelihood of trees falling on power lines and poles being affected by movement in the sodden, unstable land.”
11:08am – Here are the key points from the press conference so far:
- Heavy rain and severe winds continue impacting the upper North Island
- Trees are down, roads damaged or blocked and there are localised power outages
- MetService says Monday is the “critical” day in the event. The event is producing a “highly dangerous” combination of high winds and heavy rain
- The National Crisis Management Centre is assessing situation every four hours on whether or not to declare a nationwide state of emergency.
11:05am – About 58,000 people at the top of the North Island are without power, Civil Defence boss Roger Ball says.
11am – Civil Defence Minister McAnulty says the Government is not yet at the point of having to declare a national state of emergency.
10:45am – Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty and Civil Defence boss Roger Ball are giving an update on the national response to Cyclone Gabrielle at 11am. You can watch the press conference live on Three or in the video above.
10:40am – Coromandel residents are urged to stay home and not drive on Monday or Tuesday unless necessary, the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi says.
“Staying home keeps you safe and also helps our contractors move around the network more efficiently, speeding up response times. Slips can occur anywhere on the roading network.”
10:39am – Newshub understands Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is stuck in Auckland due to Cyclone Gabrielle, which could impact the reopening of Parliament on Tuesday.
10:30am – The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi says all lanes have reopened on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
“Strong wind gusts continue, so reduced speed limits are in place,” the agency said. “Lane reductions may be required again today.
“Caution is still advised, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.”
10:20am – Fresh severe weather warnings have been issued by MetService. You can find them here.
10:17am – Below is a list of road closures in Coromandel:
- SH25 Thames to Coromandel: COMPROMISED – FULLY CLOSED IN SOME SECTIONS
- SH25 Coromandel to Kuaotunu: COMPROMISED – FULLY CLOSED IN SOME SECTIONS
- SH25 Kuaotunu to Whitianga: CLOSED
- SH25A: FULLY CLOSED OVER THE COMPLETE LENGTH
- Tapu Coroglen: CLOSED and impassable for the foreseeable future. Location is 10km from Tapu.
10:15am – A state of emergency has been declared in Tairāwhiti as Cyclone Gabrielle edges towards Gisborne.
“We ask people to check on any whānau or neighbours who may be vulnerable, the majority of schools around the region have closed and all community links have been activated around the region,” Civil Defence controller Ben Green said.
10:05am – In Coromandel, Newshub reporter Karen Rutherford says heavy rain and winds are battering Tairua.
She says river levels are rising alongside State Highway 25, ahead of the 1:15pm high tide.
10am – The National Emergency Management Agency is holding a press conference in Wellington at 11am. You’ll be able to watch that live on Three or in the video above.
9:58am – National Party leader and Botany MP Christopher Luxon is urging people to look after each other as the weather worsens.
“Over the past few weeks, Kiwis who have been battered with disastrous weather have shown great resolve and also great community spirit,” he said in a statement.
“With this weather continuing its intimidating run, please follow the advice of Emergency Management and other agencies.”
9:50am – Below is an update from telco Spark:
We know many of our customers across Aotearoa are feeling the impacts as Cyclone Gabrielle makes its way across the North Island. Our teams are doing everything possible to keep our customers connected during this time.
We have a number of cell towers currently impacted by the cyclone in Northland due to loss of power. While we’ll work as quickly as possible to restore services, we must also ensure the safety of our technicians on the ground.
It’s also worth noting that Chorus, who own and manage the copper and fibre cables that are used to deliver some broadband and landline services as well as connect some of our cell sites, will be prioritising faults impacting mobile coverage over broadband coverage. This is to prioritise mobile communication with emergency services.
You can find out more about Chorus faults on their website.
9:45am – The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi says all of Auckland’s motorways remain open, including the Harbour Bridge which is under lane and speed restrictions.
State Highway 1 in Northland between Bryndwerwyn and Waipu remains closed.
9:30am – Whangārei has just recorded double its average monthly rainfall for February, MetService says.
9:25am – Videos from Auckland and Coromandel show massive waves lashing shorelines as Cyclone Gabrielle bears down.
One video sent to Newshub shows massive waves smashing into the shore at Hahei Beach in Coromandel, while another from Auckland’s Kohimarama Beach shows waves crashing over the sea wall.
Watch the videos here.
9:21am – Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran says cancelling all domestic flights in and out of Auckland ahead of Cyclone Gabrielle wasn’t overreacting.
“Based on what we knew, in terms of the weather forecast… then it becomes a very factual and safety-first decision,” he told Newstalk ZB.
9:17am – If you missed the 8am Auckland Civil Defence press conference, you can watch it back in the video above or read the summary below:
Cyclone Gabrielle has made landfall in Aotearoa and Auckland Emergency Management is urging people to prepare for further serious and severe weather across Auckland in the coming days.
There were 27 Civil Defence Centres and shelter sites that opened last evening, with eight sites housing people overnight. The sites were opened across Tamaki Makaurau for individuals and families who need to leave their homes and are not able to stay with friends or family.
A further 12 community-led centres are being run by community groups at local marae and churches.
The lines companies have reported that thousands of homes are without power across the upper North Island, including in north Auckland. They are working quickly to restore power where they can, however further power outages can be expected.
Auckland Transport is still urging people to avoid all non-urgent travel today and tomorrow. The Auckland Harbour Bridge has been reopened this morning, however AT is advising that the situation is fluid and it could close again at any time if the wind rises.
We need to expect other road closures.
There is a high risk of coastal inundation and storm surge on the high tide overnight Monday and into the early hours of Tuesday morning. People are asked to stay away from the coast.
9:15am – One station in Whangārei has recorded more than 100mm of rain in the past 12 hours, according to MetService.
9am – Earlier, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Auckland City manager Vaughan Mackereth told reporters the weather is going to get worse and urged people not to be complacent.
“This is the beginning of what we know will be a very long storm,” he said.
8:50am – The weather event is affecting the mobile phone networks. Below is an update from Vodafone:
We are experiencing the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on our network, with approximately 43 cell sites currently down, largely due to power issues, 29 of which are in Northland.
Our network teams continue to monitor and tweak the network to mitigate weather impacts where possible and have been working hard to prepare over the past few days, including deploying extra backup generators for sites likely to be affected. They will continue to attend sites and deploy generators this morning where safe to do so.
Customers who have an alternative internet connection can monitor our network status on our website at https://www.vodafone.co.nz/help/network-status/
8:45am – As well as suspended train services, there are “substantial” changes to ferry timetables, Auckland Transport says.
“With a large number of schools closed and many employers asking staff to work from home we’re seeing significantly lower traffic volumes across Auckland this morning,” executive general manager of safety Stacey van der Putten said.
“We’re asking Aucklanders to continue following our advice to stay home if possible and to take extreme care if they do need to travel.
“If Aucklanders are needing to use public transport today we’re asking them to check for the latest updates before they leave because there is currently a network-wide rail closure in place, along with widespread ferry cancellations and disruptions to some of our bus services.”
8:35am – Fifteen-thousand Auckland homes are without power on Monday morning.
“Our crews have worked through the night to restore as many as they safely can, while more outages continue to impact the network as a result of strong winds and vegetation. This number will change constantly as we restore homes and businesses,” electricity authority Vector said in a statement.
“With the worst of the weather forecast for later today, we do expect further outages across the region and our crews are prepared for this. In some instances, it’s likely these outages will be prolonged as our crews encounter challenges, such as road access caused by fallen trees or slips, which could delay repair times.”
8:30am – WeatherWatch says Cyclone Gabrielle is still located just north of New Zealand.
“The centre of the storm has weakened a little over the past 36 hours – but is expected to intensify further again today as it gets closer to land,” the forecaster said on Monday morning.
“Latest tracking shows the centre of Gabrielle to move over, or very near, Great Barrier Island in the Auckland region and northern Coromandel Peninsula before dawn on Tuesday.
“This placement may help Auckland reduce storm surge risks a little – but also means windier weather may linger for longer.”
8:21am – Auckland Transport’s Stacey van der Putten says Tāmaki Makaurau’s roads are quiet and people are heeding the message to stay off the transport network.
8:19am – Auckland Emergency Management’s Rachel Kelleher says there were no evacuations in Tāmaki Makaurau overnight, but that could change later as the storm intensifies.
8:14am – Auckland Transport’s Stacey van der Putten says all trains are Tāmaki Makaurau are suspended until at least 3pm.
8:10am – Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Vaughan Mackereth is stressing this is “just the beginning” of the storm.
8:06am – Rachel Kelleher says the Auckland Harbour Bridge could close at “anytime” on Monday.
8:05am – Auckland Emergency Management’s Rachel Kelleher says Tāmaki Makaurau had 130km/h wind gusts overnight. Great Barrier Island had 160km/h winds.
7:55am – Auckland Emergency Management is holding a press conference at 8am to provide the latest on Cyclone Gabrielle. You can watch it live in the video above.
7:45am – Firefighters have been busy assisting residents with fallen trees and securing roofs battered by the strong winds overnight.
National Emergency Management Agency director Roger Ball told AM emergency services responded to more than 200 calls.
7:35am – Fallen trees and strong winds are making restoring power extremely difficult around the Upper North Island.
Tens of thousands have spent the night without electricity and, in many places, restoring it is too dangerous.
In Auckland, the Harbour Bridge has unexpectedly reopened on Monday morning after gusts forced it closed on Sunday. Two lanes in both directions are open with speed restrictions in place.
Trucks, vans and motorcycle riders are being urged to consider alternative routes.
7:30am – The Thames-Coromandel District Council says the region is likely to get heavy rain and strong wind all day and overnight.
“MetService New Zealand says Cyclone Gabrielle poses a VERY HIGH risk of extreme, impactful and unprecedented weather over many regions of the North Island from Sunday to Tuesday,” the council said.
“All this rain will push a lot of sediment into our water treatment plants, overburdening them. Please go easy on your water use for the next couple of days.”
7:17am – Speaking to AM, Whangārei District Mayor Vince Cocurullo said about 22,000 homes were without power.
7:14am – Civil Defence’s Roger Ball has told AM more than 35,000 homes are without power.
7:04am – The Coromandel was thrashed by severe wind gales and heavy rain overnight resulting in power outages across the region.
Thames-Coromandel civil defence controller Garry Towler told Newshub “Coromandel has had its first battering but it’s come through ok”.
The widespread power outages are mainly affecting the West Coast and occurred from midnight onwards.
Towler said civil defence are working to establish radio communication across the region to ensure total communication before Cyclone Gabrielle’s main event.
6:46am – While the reopening of Auckland Harbour Bridge is imminent, Auckland Transport (AT) says it is likely to open and close throughout the day “depending on the unpredictable approach of Cyclone Gabrielle”.
In a statement, AT says if the bridge is open bus services will run as normal, but if wind gusts pick up to dangerous levels and force its closure – AT warns of “a number of service disruptions”.
Auckland Transport is pleading with residents to stay home today and Tuesday unless travel is “absolutely urgent”.
6:32am – MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris says while the centre of Cyclone Gabrielle doesn’t look like it will make landfall, Aotearoa will still see extreme weather.
“We are still seeing widespread severe weather, really dangerous conditions already yesterday,” Ferris told AM.
“[Weather conditions] are going to be even worse for parts of the country today.”
Ferris said Auckland, Coromandel and central areas are going to be “close to the low-pressure system” on Monday. He warned, “today looks to be worse than yesterday.”
Ferris told AM Sunday was the “warm-up day” for Cyclone Gabrielle, but today is going to be “the main event”.
“It will get worse today, it will intensify today.”
6:27am – Waka Kotahi says Auckland Harbour Bridge will reopen today following its closure overnight forced by severe wind gusts.
“The Harbour Bridge will shortly reopen with lane reductions and speed restrictions.”
The Harbour Bridge will be reduced to two lanes in each direction.
6:10am – Auckland Emergency Management (AEM) says Auckland Airport is open but many International flights in and out of Auckland are delayed or have been cancelled altogether.
In a tweet, AEM added all domestic Air New Zealand flights in and out of the super city have been cancelled until midday Tuesday.
6:03am – Cyclone Gabrielle is closing in on New Zealand with MetService saying it’s now sitting 200km off the east of Northland.
MetService spokeswoman Hannah Mose told RNZ Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and Gisborne are expected to bare the brunt of the bad weather.
“It is quite a deep cyclone – very intense and moving towards New Zealand as we speak,” Mose said.
Mose said rain and high winds continued overnight and are expected to get more intense as the day goes on.
Mose added Monday would be “the most intense” period for the upper North Island.
“Thankfully, the low-pressure system does move to the south-east, gradually, tomorrow.”
5:57am – Heavy rain is lashing the upper North Island on Monday morning as Cyclone Gabrielle causes havoc.
Photos from a Newshub reporter show the BP on Whangārei’s Riverside Dr flooded.
5:45am – The Auckland Harbour Bridge is likely to remain closed all day on Monday, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says.
“We are working closely with MetService and we are constantly monitoring wind speeds on the bridge. We will not compromise on safety and we will not open the bridge to traffic until is safe to do so,” Waka Kotahi National Emergency Response team spokesperson Mark Owen said.
“The winds from this cyclone are both severe and highly unpredictable, and driving on the bridge in these conditions is simply not safe. As soon as there is a sustained drop in the winds to safe levels we will re-open the bridge, but not before.”
Waka Kotahi urges motorists to avoid all non-essential travel.
“On current forecasts people should expect that the bridge is likely to remain closed all day Monday. We’re advising against all non-essential travel, and those who must drive should factor in the bridge closure to their planning,” Owen said.
“The alternate route while the bridge remains closed is the Western Ring Route on State Highways 16 and 18. It’s important people also check on the latest conditions of the alternate route and other roads before heading out in these conditions, as sustained heavy rainfall is expected over Monday and Tuesday which could result in surface flooding.”
5:33am – Fire and Emergency have been busy overnight responding to over 180 calls since 6pm on Sunday evening.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) said they’ve received a steady flow of calls to incidents that range from loose roofing to fallen trees, windows blown out, and downed power lines.
Most of the calls came from people in Northland and Auckland, with a small number in Waikato.
“An Urban Search and Rescue team was called out to assess one property, with the other incidents attended by local fire crews,” a FENZ spokesperson said.
Fire crews also attended two commercial property fires in Auckland overnight, FENZ said.
5:21am – Thousands of Kiwis are waking this morning to no power as Cyclone Gabrielle causes havoc.
At least 23,000 households across Northland and Auckland spent the night without power.
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