Heavy rain causes slips, flooding on Coromandel Peninsula

The Whiti Farm Park was meant to reopen after 10 weeks in lockdown, but a deluge put a dampener on that.

ronnie james/supplied

The Whiti Farm Park was meant to reopen after 10 weeks in lockdown, but a deluge put a dampener on that.

The first day of winter is making its presence felt with heavy rain and blustery winds hammering the upper North Island.

Coromandel Peninsula got a drenching overnight causing slips, closing roads and making travel treacherous on the long weekend.

Kopu recorded 204mm of rain in the 24 hours to 7am on Monday and the Waikato Regional Council’s Pinnacles weather station recorded 197ml of rain at 8.15am Monday.

Those who made the trip to the peninsula for Queen’s Birthday are being asked to delay any urgent travel or plan for delays due to surface flooding.

A large tree has fallen on Manaia Road along State Highway 25 blocking both lanes of the highway.

The road will remain closed until the tree is cleared.

There are various slips and debris on the roads throughout the peninsula particularly on the Kopu-Hikuai and the Tairua to Whitianga route, Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler said.

Rangihau Road at Coroglen is closed due to a large slip about 5km up the road. This is expected to be open to one lane by 3pm on Monday.

“As expected, we’ve been hit with some heavy wind and rain resulting in surface flooding and slips making driving conditions hazardous.

“If you visited the Coromandel for the long weekend, thanks for visiting and supporting our local businesses. We encourage you to delay your travel today if possible and plan ahead for significant delays.”

The MetService’s heavy rain warning is in place until 6pm Monday and with high tide at 12:54pm, which is expected to bring further surface flooding on the roads.

Heavy rain already closed a Coromandel farm park due to flooding on the first day of reopening after the Covid-19 lockdown.

A deluge bringing 250mm of rain on Saturday damaged fences, deposited silt throughout sheds, washed out bridges, and left one Scottish highland cow washed a kilometre downstream.

Residents and visitors in Tairua are also being asked to conserve water. Rivers are carrying a lot of sediment due to heavy rain, Towler said, which means the treatment plan has to work hard to treat water.

“The volume of safe, clean drinking water that can be produced when the sediment load in the rivers is high, is lower than under normal circumstances.

“We have also had a water break in the Paku Drive area, so until the team have finished repairing this pipe, this is also reducing the available water for our customers.”

More heavy rain is expected to pass over the North Island on Monday as a deep low moves south, Metservice reports.

The system is forecast to bring rain and strong east to northeasterly winds to northern parts of the country with the heaviest rain expected in Northland, Coromandel and the eastern Bay of Plenty where a heavy rain warning is in place.

A gale wind warning has been issued for areas from the Waikato north including Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Rotorua, Auckland and Northland with strong easterlies expected.

Gusts of 137kmh were recorded on White Island overnight and at Tiritiri Lighthouse in Auckland recorded 109kmh.

Given these regions haven’t experienced strong easterly winds for an extended period of time, the Metservice is advising people to ensure all items and structures are secure.