December 11, 2023

Live: ‘It’s pretty soggy’ – More rain expected as state of emergency declared in Auckland, motorways gridlocked across city

Watch: Auckland Emergency Management press conference.

Auckland is under a local state of emergency and wild weather lashes large parts of New Zealand.

With surface flooding reported in the Far North and parts of Auckland, Kiwis are urged to be prepared and avoid any unnecessary travel on Tuesday.

A line of severe thunderstorms is moving east across Auckland and these are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain.

Is the wild weather affecting you? Send your pictures and videos to [email protected].

What you need to know:

  • Mayor Wayne Brown has declared a State of Local Emergency for Auckland and delegated his responsibilities and powers to Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson
  • National Emergency Management Agency is urging Kiwis to “be prepared” and have a plan for the wild weather 
  • MetService has issued 15 weather warnings and watches for large parts of New Zealand
  • ​One person is unaccounted for at Abbey Caves in Whangārei
  • There are widespread traffic jams across Auckland as people head home.

NEMA has advised that as storms approach you should:

  • Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows;
  • Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside;
  • Get back to land, if outdoors on the water;
  • Move cars under cover or away from trees;
  • Secure any loose objects around your property;
  • Check that drains and gutters are clear;
  • Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving.
  • During and after the storm, you should also:
  • Beware of fallen trees and power lines;
  • Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding.

Useful websites: 

  • For travel updates in Auckland click here
  • For the latest from Auckland Emergency Management click here
  • For the latest road information in Auckland and Northland click here
  • For the latest weather warnings click here

Civil Defence centres open

  • West Auckland: Te Manawa library, 11 Kohuhu Lane, Massey.
  • Albany/Dairy Flat: Albany Hall, 575 Albany Highway, Albany.
  • If you need to evacuate, and it is safe to do so, bring important medications, essential items for babies and children, and warm clothing with you.
  • Further information on Civil Defence centres is here.

Follow Newshub’s live updates below. App users click here for the latest updates. 

4:07pm – A person has posted a video to TikTok showing just how bad the traffic is in Auckland.

4:05pm – Here are some more photos from Northland of flooding, this time in Ruakaka.

3:55pm – The “super long” line for the NX1 bus from central Auckland to the North Shore has cleared, Auckland Councillor Richard Hills says.

“Thanks to the drivers for coming on early and to AT for coordinating,” he tweeted. “Hoping this is happening more broadly across network.”

3:50pm – Here’s an update on trains in Auckland.

The western line is running at a reduced frequency and reduced speed, the Onehunga line is suspended until further notice, the southern line is running at a reduced frequency at line speed, and the eastern line is still running between Manukau and Ōtāhuhu.

Trains are slowly resuming service on the southern line from Britomart to Papakura and on the western line from Britomart to Swanson.

Auckland Transport said these trains will run at reduced speeds until further clearance is received from KiwiRail.

3:45pm – There’s flooding in Waipu in Northland.

Photos send to Newshub show how it’s impacting farmlands and how badly it’s affecting road access.

3:40pm – NIWA says heavy rain and thunderstorms will end this evening for Auckland and Northland.

However, from the Bay of Plenty to Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, there is a heavy rain and thunderstorm threat until later tonight.

NIWA forecasts a “winter-like pattern” tomorrow with thundery showers, some of which which will be heavy, along with South Island elevation snow.

3:35pm – Fire and Emergency has received 277 weather-related calls for help in the last seven hours from 8am – 3pm, a spokesperson says.

More than half of these calls came through between the hours of 12pm and 1pm. Nineteen of these calls were from Northland and 258 were from Auckland.

About 100 of these were classed as urgent and the rest were classed as non-urgent.

Brad Mosby, on-call commander for Tāmaki Makaurau, is urging people to be cautious and prepared.

“Please avoid unnecessary travel and don’t travel through floodwater. It’s difficult to judge the depth and currents during the daytime and impossible at night,” he said.

Fire and Emergency is asking people to call 111 when life and safety are at risk, so the people who urgently need help can get through to our communications centre.

“Calls to flooded basements, for example, are not urgent. Please delay reporting those kinds of incidents until the current rainstorm has passed,” Mosby said.

3:30pm – A Whangārei Boys’ High School student is missing following a caving trip.

Principal Karen Gilbert-Smith said this event is “hugely upsetting” for the school.

“An outdoor education class attended Abbey Caves this morning on a caving trip and encountered a severe weather event,” she said in a statement.

“One of our students is currently missing after encountering the weather event. Search and Rescue are currently searching for the young person.”

Gilbert-Smith said all students were supported at the scene by Search and Rescue and the St John Incident Response team. The students were then returned to WBHS where they received further medical assessment and were then reunited with their whānau.

“As a school we are focusing on supporting all whānau, staff and students concerned with this event, and the wider school community, with assistance from iwi and agencies,” Gilbert-Smith said.

“A full and comprehensive investigation of this situation will occur, but for now I have asked the WBHS community to stay united and provide support where required.”

She confirmed the school will tomorrow so they can maintain a sense of routine for the students and staff. Support is available for all students and staff.

“My thoughts and aroha are with all concerned, especially the whānau of the young person who is missing,” Gilbert-Smith said.

3:25pm – Another Civil Defence centre has opened, this time in Albany/Dairy Flat.

It is at Albany Hall, 575 Albany Highway, Albany.

This centre is currently open. It provides stretcher beds, blankets, food, water, welfare support agencies, and psychosocial support.

3:22pm – Flooding is causing some cars to float down streets.

A video posted to TikTok, taken on Walpole St in Ellerslie, shows just how bad the flooding is hitting in some areas.

3:20pm – At Middlemore Hospital, there’s flooding there too.

3:15pm – There is surface flooding out in Mt Wellington, Auckland.

3:10pm – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is warning there’s an increased possibility of landslides as the heavy rain hits.

They are encouraging people to get prepared since significant rainfall is forecast for the next two days. They said the ground in many parts of Aotearoa is already saturated and, with more heavy rain about to arrive, there is an increased risk of flooding and landslides.

NEMA director John Price said they are facing a “severe weather situation”.

“We ask that people keep up to date with MetService’s watches and warnings, and follow their local Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) group on their social accounts.”

He cautions people to take care, be prepared, and avoid unnecessary travel.

“Given the amount of rain that has already fallen, we want people to be aware that there is an increased possibility of landslides,” he said.

“If you are driving, stay on the lookout for areas of collapsed roading or slips of mud and rocks.”

Information on what you can do to get prepared and if your home is affected by bad weather is here. 

If you see a landslide, you can report it via GeoNet here.

3:07pm – The Auckland leg of the New Zealand International Comedy Festival has been postponed on Tuesday night due to the bad weather.

There were due to be 18 shows opening their runs in Auckland tonight, as well as shows continuing across the city’s CBD.

Read the full story here.

3:05pm – Flooding that had blocked all southbound lanes on SH1 between Penrose Rd overbridge and South Eastern Hwy off-ramp has now cleared, Waka Kotahi says.

3pm – Another severe thunderstorm warning has been issued by MetService.

The heavy rain band is due to move into the Bay of Plenty in the next few hours.

2:57pm – Train operations are attempting to recommence for the southern and western line services from Britomart.

Earlier, no train services were leaving the station.

2:55pm – WeatherWatch says the heaviest rain is now pushing into the Coromandel Peninsula, Hunua/Miranda area, Waikato, and Waitomo.

They add there is more general rain for Auckland and Northland, but further isolated heavier falls can’t be ruled out.

2:50pm – The Ministry of Education says the safety and wellbeing of staff and students is their priority.

Isabel Evans, hautū (leader) for Te Tai Raro (north), says they are reaching out to schools, kura and early learning services to advise them to follow their emergency management plans and to monitor the Civil Defence website.

“Any decision to close will be made by school boards, who will take into account advice from both Civil Defence and the MetService,” she said.

“Schools will keep their communities updated through their regular channels.

“We are here to offer advice and support if it’s required.”

2:45pm – Here’s the latest on road closures and cancelled flights as the weather hits.

2:41pm – There are queues of people waiting to catch a bus to Albany.

A person told Newshub some people have been waiting more than an hour on Queen St.

2:40pm – It’s starting to flood out in Clevedon.

2:32pm – Here’s the latest from Devonport in Auckland.

There’s surface flooding across roads, with one person saying this “didn’t even happen during the Auckland [Anniversary] Day floods”.

2:30pm – The heavy rain has caused flight cancellations out of Kerikeri and Whangārei airports.

“At this stage, the rain has not impacted the airline’s services into or out of Auckland airport,” said Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer, Leanne Geraghty.

“Our team is closely monitoring the weather and will make changes as required. We advise customers travelling today to keep an eye on the Air NZ app for updates on their flights as well as the arrivals and departures page on the Air New Zealand website.”

Air New Zealand has activated its flexibility policy, meaning those with domestic travel booked in to and out of Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Wellington and Kerikeri today are able to change their booking to a flight within the next 48 hours free of charge.

Or, for those who no longer wish to travel, they are able to request a refund if they have purchased a refundable fare, or opt into credit via the manage booking page on Air New Zealand’s website.

“We thank customers for their patience as we work through these weather impacts.”

2:25pm – Here is a statement from AT group manager metro services Darek Koper:

This afternoon’s weather conditions are extremely challenging for our passengers and our public transport teams who are doing their best to help get people home safely.

Widespread flooding and heavy traffic across Auckland are causing significant disruption for all public transport services.

Buses are being severely affected by heavy traffic, especially in the City Centre. Due to traffic conditions and flooding on the North Shore our NX1, NX5, 95 and 97 services are being particularly hard hit, with very long queues at City Centre bus stops. We are encouraging passengers wanting to travel to the North Shore to shelter in the city until queues ease.

Trains are currently suspended across the rail network except between Otahuhu and Papakura on the Southern Line, and between Otahuhu to Manukau on the Eastern Line.

Our teams are working to source rail replacement buses, however our operators are currently prioritising school bus runs to ensure children are able to get home safely. Many schools are closing early today which is making planning challenging for our bus teams.

There are also a range of disruptions and cancellations affecting our ferry services, with some services having to turn away passengers because they are at capacity. Due to high demand our ferry operators are unable to secure taxi vans as alternative transport options for services which are cancelled.

Please see the AT Mobile App or Live Departures on the AT website for the latest information about our services and whether they are running.

2:21pm – The officials at the press conference are now taking questions from reporters.

Kelleher said if red or yellow placards are placed on people’s homes, they need to obey the instructions on them.

The press conference is now over.

2:16pm – Van der Putten says they are prepared for this.

Existing slips sites across the network have been made safe, she said.

2:15pm – Stacey van der Putten from Auckland Transport is urging people to stay off the roads.

There are currently no trains travelling out of Britomart.

2:12pm – Brad Mosby from Fire and Emergency is now speaking at the press conference and says they are expecting more callouts as the day goes on. They are prioritising those where people’s lives and homes are at risk.

He is confident they have the resources to respond to emergencies as they come to hand.

2:11pm – Some more weather is coming for Auckland tomorrow, but it will just be windy over the next couple of days, Griffiths said.

2:09pm – Georgina Griffiths, MetService meteorologist, is now speaking.

She is explaining the torrential rain Auckland is currently seeing. 

There have been peak rain rates in most places of 35-40mm/h. There are some places under the severe thunderstorm line that saw 40-50mm in one hour.

Many people in central and western parts of the city are currently having a break from the rain – “but enjoy it while it lasts”.

“It’s pretty soggy.”

Griffiths hopes that by 7pm, the worst of the rain will have passed.

2:06pm – Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson is now speaking.

She says today’s weather is concerning both to her and to Mayor Wayne Brown.

There is an emergency shelter in west Auckland at Te Manawa library in Westgate.

2:04pm – Auckland Emergency Management duty controller Rachel Kelleher has arrived.

She is reiterating that an emergency mobile alert was issued to Aucklanders earlier today.

Kelleher added they are expecting more rain as the day progressed, potentially until midnight. The most severe time frame is until 7pm.

There is flooding across the region and it’s fairly “widespread”.

She asks people to take care when driving and not to drive through flood waters

1:56pm – Photos from a Northland local have shown the significant surface flooding in the region.

Northland resident Angus Gregor told Newshub the road from Taipa to Awanui is completely underwater.

“On the way back to Whangarei I tried to stop at a client’s place on Oruru Road outside of Taipa and watched as maybe 10 trees and a chunk of land fell in front of me,” Gregor said.

1:55pm – Auckland Emergency Management is giving an update at 2pm.

You will be able to watch this in the video player above. Refresh the page if you can’t see the live TV feed.

1:50pm – Flooding is blocking all southbound lanes on SH1 southern between Penrose Rd overbridge and South Eastern Hwy off-ramp.

Waka Kotahi urges people to delay their journey if it’s non-essential, or drivers should expect long delays.

1:45pm – Northbound lanes on SH1 have now reopened between Esmonde Rd and Northcote Rd, Waka Kotahi says.

1:42pm – Auckland University has announced they have cancelled all in-person classes on Tuesday afternoon due to the weather. 

“Please do not come into the university until further notice,” the university said in a statement.

“Anyone already on campus is encouraged to return home, if you can do so safely. If it is safer for you to remain on campus, the City Library will remain open.

“There is an Orange Heavy Rain Warning and Severe Thunderstorm Watch in place, and Auckland Emergency Management is advising to plan any travel carefully. Public transport in particular will be under acute pressure.

“We will provide an update this evening about teaching tomorrow.”

1:38pm – The wild weather is causing widespread traffic jams across Auckland.

In the city centre, cars are backed up Symonds St and people are waiting in the pouring rain to catch buses.

1:35pm – Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty says the Government will step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland following a local state of emergency.

Here is the full statement from Kieran McAnulty:

The Government will step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland following Auckland Council declaring a local state of emergency.

“NEMA’s National Coordination Centre has been activated and the Government stands ready to provide any support that is needed,” Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said.

“NEMA have been closely monitoring throughout the course of this event and keeping me up to date. This declaration gives us the ability to coordinate further resources for affected areas.

“I urge people in Auckland to check Auckland Emergency Management’s social media accounts and visit www.aucklandemergencymanagement.org.nz and listen to radio for the latest information. As always, the Government is assisting as much as possible.

“I’d like to acknowledge all the agencies whose staff are working hard to manage the impacts of this server weather. Stay safe and call 111 if you or anyone else is in danger”, said McAnulty.

Auckland Emergency Management has opened a Civil Defence Centre to assist those that have been displaced or need assistance following today’s severe weather. The centre is open now at Te Manawa Library which is located at 11 Kohuhu Lane, Massey (Westgate).

1:30pm – Kids have been carried out of an Auckland child care centre after it became flooded on Tuesday morning.

The centre manager from the Learning Ladder Early Learning Centre in Howick told Newshub the rain caused significant flooding in the centre and outside in the playground. 

“The rain started, it’s been raining all day. We noticed more and more rain was coming in off the road and it was gushing down our driveway,” Natalie Goodwin said. 

“We noticed our playground was floating and then we just started evacuating the children as it started to enter the building.” 

Goodwin said the kids were “fine” and were watching a movie when the building started to flood. 

She said the kids weren’t scared by the flooding as they have practice emergency evacuations in the past. 

“We practice evacuations, we practice lockdown drills and what to do in floods and tsunamis quite regularly, it’s a monthly occurrence for us so this was just a bit of fun and we told the kids it was extra water play for the day.”

1:12pm – Auckland War Memorial Museum will close later on Tuesday because of the extreme weather hitting the city. 

The museum announced it will close at 3pm. 

“Due to extreme weather in Tāmaki Makaurau and the forecast for heavy rain later today, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum is closing at 3pm this afternoon to allow visitors and staff to get home safely.”

1:07pm: Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has declared a a state of local emergency for Auckland and delegated his responsibilities and powers to Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson.

Brown is currently out of the country and in Sydney.  

Here is the full statement. 

“This morning, at my request, the Deputy Mayor and I received an urgent phone briefing from Auckland Emergency Management Civil Defence.

“After carefully considering the advice of the Duty Controller I have decided to declare a precautionary State of Local Emergency. The decision is based on the lessons we learnt from the Anniversary Auckland floods.

“While I am assured that emergency services are coping with the volume of call outs at the moment, and that they do not require emergency powers, I consider it is necessary to communicate to the public that this is something to take seriously.

“As I am in Sydney on Council business, I have delegated my responsibilities and powers to Desley Simpson, who is now Acting Mayor until I return,” Mayor Brown said.

At approximately 12pm, with approval of the Mayor, Auckland Emergency Management issued a region-wide emergency mobile alert.

“I am urging Aucklanders to remain calm but be vigilant. Please stay away from floodwaters and open drains. It is important that you follow the official advice of Auckland Emergency Management and Auckland Transport,” Mayor Brown said.

1:05pm – Auckland Emergency Management will hold a press conference at 2pm to provide an update to Aucklanders on the current weather situation. 

Aucklanders should find out if they will go back into a state of emergency.

We will stream the press conference in the video above.

1:01pm – Fire and Emergency New Zealand has revealed they are responding to dozens of calls for help across the upper North Island on Tuesday morning. 

Brad Mosby, on-call Commander for Tāmaki Makaurau said from 9am-12pm this morning crews have responded to 88 calls for help related to the weather between Northland and Auckland.

Mosby said most of the calls were from Auckland.

“These call-outs mostly include flooding that had entered buildings. However, some slips and fallen trees have been recorded with one tree catching fire due to lightning,” Mosby said. 

“The calls vary in severity with 22 being classed as urgent and the rest being classed as non-urgent.

“We are expecting more weather related call outs and people need to stay alert and be prepared.

“We are working closely with our emergency services partners to ensure a coordinated approach is taken in managing this weather event.”

Fire and Emergency urge people to call 111 when life or personal safety is threatened. That includes when there is a fire, when people are trapped by floodwater, slips or fallen trees and when people need help to evacuate safely.

“For the latest weather warnings follow MetService, and follow NZ Civil Defence and your local Civil Defence page for emergency warnings and advice,” Mosby said.

12:55pm Surface flooding in Silverdale, Auckland.

12:52pmSurface flooding in Albany

12:49pm – Waka Kotahi has advised that parts of State Highway 1 in Auckland are closed.

Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said SH1 between Esmonde Rd and Northcote Rd is flooded and closed in both directions. 

“Please delay your journey or use alternative route,” NZTA said. 

12:45pm – Auckland Transport (AT) says the severe weather hitting the city is affecting transport services. 

AT said the southern line will only operate between Papakura-Otahuhu, the eastern line will go between Manukau-Otahuhu and all western line services remain suspended until further notice. 

“All Onehunga services will operate between Britomart – Penrose only until further notice,” AT said.

12:43pm – Surface flooding on Tamaki Drive, Auckland.

12:40pm – MetService says Auckland has seen “torrential” rain rates on Tuesday morning with Orewa to Albany currently under a severe thunderstorm warning. 

MetService said Auckland has just observed 40-50mm/h of rainfall.

12:34pm – Auckland and Northland motorists are being urged to take care and avoid non-essential travel with heavy rainfall causing surface flooding across both regions. 

Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said State Highway 1 Brynderwyns and Dome Valley are closed.

NZTA has just released a press release urging motorists to avoid non-essential travel. 

Here is the full statement: 

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel in Northland and Auckland with heavy rainfall causing surface flooding on the state highway network across both regions. 

SH1 Brynderwyn Hills to Waipū and SH1 Dome Valley are now closed due to surface flooding and slips. Crews are closely monitoring the roads and will reassess once safe to do so.

Detours are currently in place for light vehicles via Mangawhai and Waipū, and for heavy vehicles via SH12 and SH14 however Waka Kotahi is advising people to check the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner before they head out as the situation is changing rapidly.

Further north, the state highway network roads are open but there is surface flooding. 

Waka Kotahi is advising people to check the very latest weather conditions with MetService and is urging anyone who does need to drive in areas affected by severe weather to adjust their driving to the conditions, which means slowing down, increasing following distances, switching headlights on, and watching for flooding and other debris on the road. 

Journey Planner is updated 24/7 by Waka Kotahi traffic operations centres and is the best source of the most recent and reliable information available on state highway closures and disruptions. Remember to refresh the page when checking the status of highways to ensure that the latest updates are displayed. 

12:30pm – ‘It’s rain and it’s raining pretty hard’

Joining Newshub Live at 11:30am, Newshub reporter Lucy Thomson said it was “raining and it’s raining pretty hard”.

Thomson spoke to a local man who had started sandbagging their driveway in preparation for the rain getting a “whole lot worse” this afternoon.

MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray told Newshub Live at 11:30am host Oriini Kaipara the lashing of heavy rain has come as forecasted.

“The rain has come in. This is the [rain] band that has caused all those problems last week and it’s just drifted off the country and now is being pushed back onto the country by a cold front and a low.”

Murray told Kaipara that MetService is concerned about “a number” of regions across the motu.

“You’re going to see surface flooding, more slips and because we’re already sodden from last week, and actually the ongoing weather we’ve had since the beginning of the year in the north, those areas will flood more easily now.”

Murray said the rain band will continue into Monday afternoon and is likely to linger into the evening.

She added the West Coast of the South Island has had “continuous rain” and is set to get even more.

“The councils down there have said ‘yes, it’s definitely borderline’ – they’re watching it really closely.”

12:26pm – Police have confirmed a student is missing after an incident at Abbey Caves in Whangārei. 

Northland District Commander, Superintendent Tony Hill said a group of high school students have been doing an exercise at the caves on Abbey Caves Road, Whangārei on Tuesday morning. 

At around 10:35am, it was reported the group was in difficulty.

“A group of people have since made it out safely, however, one student is currently unaccounted for,” Hill said. 

Police search and rescue and USAR crews are responding to the area to help with the rescue. 

“The incident is still very much developing and we will provide further updates as they become available,” Hill said. 

“Our thoughts are with the whanau of the missing child, as well as all those involved in the group outing and the school.

“Police continue to advise the public to pay close attention to weather forecasts and emergency management updates given the current weather conditions across the district.” 

12:13pm – Auckland Emergency Management has just released a press-release about the emergency mobile alert that was just sent out.

Here is the full statement:

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch and flooding event has been issued for Auckland.

MetService has issued an Orange Heavy Rain Warning and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Auckland, including Aotea Great Barrier Island today (Tuesday 9 May).

Auckland Emergency Management has issued an emergency mobile alert.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are affecting the Auckland region and expected to continue into the evening, potentially through to midnight tonight.

If your life or property is at risk, phone 111 immediately.

If you need to evacuate, seek shelter with friends and family and take important items with you.

Plan your travel carefully, we are likely to see widespread surface flooding across Auckland, including during the afternoon and evening commute. If you can travel earlier, please do.

Follow MetService for updates. If Civil Defence Centres and Shelters are required, these will be published on aucklandemergencymanagement.org.nz

A severe Thunderstorm Warning is in place for Kaipara, Auckland City, Waitakere, Rodney, and Albany.

The Orange Heavy Rain Warning is in place between midday and midnight tonight and the Severe Thunderstorm Watch covers 2pm to 10pm across the same period.

Mayor Wayne Brown says “Auckland is experiencing widespread flooding and torrential rain. Please take care and follow advice. Visit getready.govt.nz now and make a plan for your family.”

Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson says, “We strongly encourage people to check the AEM website and social media channels to see which civil defence centres are open.

“For those in west Auckland, Te Manawa library in Westgate will be open from 1pm today to seek shelter.

“If you need to evacuate, and it is safe to do so, bring important medications, essential items for babies and children, and warm clothing with you.”

People should also prepare for power cuts by making sure their phones are charged and they have torches ready.

Read more about MetService watches and warnings here.

Landslide advice

Properties next to, above or below properties affected by existing landslides may be at increased risk of further landslides, says Head of Engineering Resilience, Ross Roberts.

“In many areas, cliff top properties with existing landslides may encounter further damage.

“If your house has a red “entry prohibited” placard, ensure you’re following the requirement to stay out.

“If your house has a yellow “restricted access” placard, follow the restrictions given on the placard and seriously consider avoiding any entry for the duration of the event.

“If your house is next to a property with a placard, or if you see any signs of instability, or if you are concerned about the stability of the land around your house, we recommend you are extra cautious during this likely severe weather event and you may want to consider finding alternative accommodation during heavy rain,” says Mr Roberts.  

Land instability warning signs to look for

  • new cracking in the ground around your house  
  • recent movement such as leaning power poles, trees, and retaining walls 
  • muddy water flowing down slopes or springs forming
  • loss of power or other utilities 
  • new cracks appearing inside the house eg, in gib/plaster, tiles 
  • jamming doors and windows can be a warning sign but are common in humid conditions, so if this occurs look for other warning signs 
  • unusual sounds such as trees cracking, rumbling or rocks falling or knocking together 
  • pavements sinking or finding new rocks, soil, or other debris on or around your house and property. 

Preparing for bad weather

  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast.
  • Take extreme care if you are driving in heavy rain, and delay trips if possible. Do not drive through floodwaters.
  • If life or property is at risk, phone 111.
  • Looking out for neighbours, friends and family is also important, especially if you live, work or travel in an area that is prone to flooding, slips or power outages
  • Fallen trees, blocked drains or debris on public property can be reported to Auckland Council using our online ‘Report a Problem’ tool.

·        If your property is damaged, take photographs for your insurer as early as possible

If out and about in a storm

  • Always drive to the weather conditions and never drive through floodwaters.
  • If you get stuck in a flood, get out of your car and move to higher ground immediately, taking great care in the floodwaters.
  • Never play in or walk through floodwaters unnecessarily, you may encounter unseen objects, dangerous debris or holes.
  • If driving at night, drive slowly, especially through flood-prone areas as you may encounter flooding at short notice.
  • Never attempt to drive over slips and treat power lines as live at all times.
  • Check on neighbours and family, especially if they are in at risk areas or might be affected by flooding or slips. 

Pets and livestock

If you live on a rural property, think about your livestock rotation, especially if areas of your farms are flood-prone.

  • If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe shelter place.
  • If you have to leave your animals behind, make sure they’re in a secure and sheltered place either inside or outside your home.
  • If you have livestock or horses in paddocks near waterways that have the potential to flood (streams, rivers etc.), move them to higher ground. Make sure your stock have access to clean feed and water in their new contained space until they can be returned to their paddocks.
  • If you need more detailed guidance, check the animals affected by emergencies factsheets on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

Tornado tips

There is also a possibility of tornado conditions but, as always, it is hard to pick where the greatest risk is and almost impossible to predict where a tornado might appear, so remember:

  • If you see a tornado, seek shelter immediately.
  • If you’re inside, stay away from doors and windows, and stay downstairs if you’re in a multi-storey building.
  • For added protection, get under something sturdy, cover your body with a blanket or mattress and protect your head with your hands.
  • If you’re outside, lay flat in a gully, ditch or low spot on the ground and protect your head with an object or your arms.
  • If you’re in a car, pull over and shelter in a low spot (not under or near the car).

12:10pm – Civil Defence has just issued a text emergency alert for the Auckland region. 

Civil Defence warns heavy rain and thunderstorms are affecting the region and are expected to continue for the rest of the day. 

“If your life or property is at risk, phone 111 immediately,” the alert said. 

“If you need to evacuate, seek shelter with friends and family and take important items with you.”  

12:04pm – Aucklanders are being urged to take extreme care and head home early with conditions expected to worsen in the coming hours.

“MetService has advised that conditions are expected to worsen this afternoon, so we are encouraging Aucklanders to head home early if possible and to delay all non-essential travel,” Auckland Transport (AT) executive general manager safety Stacey van der Putten said 

“With surface flooding becoming widespread in some West Auckland communities we are reminding Aucklanders to stay clear of floodwaters and to not drive through them as this poses a serious risk to their safety.” 

Van der Putten said bus drivers have been reminded about the importance of following diversions put in place and not driving through floodwaters themselves.

“Due to the extremely heavy rain, there are already significant disruptions and delays to public transport services today, with buses, trains and ferries all subject to delays and cancellations,” van der Putten said. 

“Please check the AT Mobile App and Live Departures for the latest information about which services are affected.”

11:49am – Two more Auckland schools have reported flooding as heavy downpours hit the city. 

Don Buck Primary School in Massey has confirmed the school will close at 11:30am.

“We are experiencing a large amount of flooding due to the current rain conditions. This is making the school unsafe for our children to be at,” the school said on Facebook. 

West Harbour School said they will stay open but are experiencing flooding. 

“Children are safe and calm in the rooms. I will not be closing the school as it is safer for the students to keep off the footpaths and roads,” West Harbour School said on Facebook.

11:45am – A young Sunnyvale School student has revealed what it is like at the school when it was evacuated after wild weather hit west Auckland. 

“Most of the school is flooded and the creek is flooded,” Sunnyvale School student Pete told Newshub.

Pete said it was a bit scary for her and the water came up to her shins. 

It comes after Sunnyvale Primary School in Henderson said they were evacuating.

11:40am – Newshub understands 15 students and two teachers are trapped in Abbey Caves in Whangārei because of flooding. 

The Northern Advocate reports the students were visiting from Whangārei Boys’ High School and all but one of the students has been accounted for.  

Police earlier told Newshub that officers are monitoring an incident on Abbey Caves Road, Whangārei, where it was reported a group was in difficulty.

11:35am – The bad weather is starting to affect travel in Auckland with AT warning commuters of delays on services.

Flooding at stations along the Western Line is causing delays. Western Line services will operate between Britomart and New Lynn and Henderson and Swanson, there are no services between Henderson and Swanson.

Busses in West Auckland have also been disrupted by flooding and there are reduced services. Pine Harbour ferry services have been replaced by shuttles.

For more information click here.

11:30am – Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown is in Sydney for a meeting with Auckland Light Rail and engineering firm Arup to explore options for Auckland.

Mayor Brown has been briefed on the developing situation in Auckland and is in regular telephone contact with Auckland Emergency Management (AEM) and Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson.

If required, he will delegate powers to Deputy Mayor Simpson as necessary.

There are reports of flooding in West and North Auckland. Mayor Brown is urging residents to stay away from floodwaters and open drains, remain calm but vigilant and follow the advice of Auckland Emergency Management.

He is urging AEM and Auckland Transport to provide frequent, clear communication.

11:20am – MetService says at 11:00am their radar detected a line of severe thunderstorms from Marsden Point to Port Albert to Huapai.

They said on their website the line of severe thunderstorms is moving towards the eastsoutheast, and is expected to lie from Ruakka to Wellsford to Henderson at 11:30 am and from Hen and Chickens Islands to Wellsford to Auckland at midday.

These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain.

Torrential rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in force for Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel and Northland.

11:14am – Police have confirmed they are responding to reports for rescue assistance at Abbey Caves in Whangārei.

A police spokesperson said officers are monitoring an incident on Abbey Caves Road, Whangārei, where it was reported a group was in difficulty. 

“At this stage, Police will be assisting where required,” the spokesperson said. 

Severe thunderstorms and heavy downpours are impacting the area and surface flooding has been reported in the area.

11:11am – Heavy rain is currently lashing Auckland on Tuesday morning. 

NIWA said there have been rainfall rates of 45mm/h observed. 

“The risk for flooding will be elevated over the next couple of hours (at least) in the Auckland region as ‘training’ occurs – or heavy rain repeatedly falling over the same area,” NIWA said.

11:05am – A west Auckland primary school has reported they have started evacuating because of the wild weather. 

Sunnyvale Primary School in Henderson said in a post on Facebook: “All gates are open please come and get your children we are evacuating”. 

11am – Fire and Emergency told Newshub they have started to receive isolated calls for assistance due to flooding in west Auckland.

“None of the jobs are major, but they are starting to come in now,” Fire and Emergency said.

10:55am – MetService has just updated its weather warnings and watches with a new heavy rain warning, a heavy snow warning and a severe thunderstorm watch issued. 

MetService said a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Kaipara, Whangarei and Rodney. 

“This line of severe thunderstorms is moving towards the east, and is expected to lie from Waipu to Port Albert to Laukapakapa at 10:52am and from Waipu Cove to Wellsford to Orewa at 11:22am,” MetService said.

“These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain.”

The forecaster warned the torrential rain can cause surface and flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous. 

Click here to see all of MetServices’ weather warning and watches. 

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