National | Auckland

Earlier than expected torrential downpour causes havoc across country

Photo / Supplied.

Kiwis are being urged to take extra caution and avoid any unnecessary travel today as serious rainfall once again causes major troubles across the country.

Severe thunderstorms and rain warnings have been issued by Metservice for parts of Auckland and Northland, a total of 15 that have been given for most of the country, and it says the worst is still to come.

Auckland's warnings also extend to Great Barrier Island.

Surface flooding is already being reported on state highways in the Far North, while West Auckland is also reporting floods in various areas.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency released a statement moments ago. Road closures are already in place, with State Highway 1 Brynderwyns to Waipū and Dome Valley closed due to slips and surface floods.

“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,” the statement says.

Meanwhile earlier today, an Auckland-wide mobile civil defence flood warning alert was sent out, saying that the rainfall is expected to continue into the evening, possibly 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.”

Police have also confirmed a student is missing after an incident at Abbey Caves in Whangārei.

According to Northland District Commander Superintendent Tony Hill, a group of high school students had been involved in an exercise on Abbey Caves Road in Whangārei this morning.

All but one student has been accounted for, and Police Search and Rescue and USAR crews are responding.

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

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