Roads remain shut as heavy rainfall causes floods, slips
Motorists are advised to take care this morning as wild weather wreaked havoc over the weekend on the roads.
Flooding near Whitianga over the weekend. Photo: Twitter / NIWA
Roads and highways remain shut around the country as crews try to work on repairs, and Coromandel was still largely isolated with two main roads closed.
In Waikato a slip closed SH25a between Kopu and Hikuai in both directions, while a detour has been set up through SH26, SH2 to SH25 in both directions through Whangamata.
Work to clear the slip stopped overnight due to dangerous conditions but was expected to resume again this morning.
Another Waikato slip has shut SH25, 2km north of Waiomu and SH25 between Thames and Coromandel, near Whalebone Stream and Tapu Wharf Road.
Thames Valley Civil Defence controller Garry Towler in Whangamata said it was a short sharp storm, with 140mm of rain over 12 hours.
Main roads may not reopen until later today, and anyone travelling should check conditions before setting out, he said.
"Don't take any risks - there's surface water all around the place, especially up around the northern Coromandel area as well."
A water tanker is at Matatoki School to provide water to residents, after high stream levels blocked drinking water at the local intake
Due to flooding SH1 the northbound right lane is closed North of Mercer. Motorists were advised to expect delays or avoid the area.
A number of Auckland roads were closed due to severe weather.
Scenic Drive between Shaw Road and West Coast Road in west Auckland was closed due to a large slip, Auckland Transport said.
In east Auckland, a large slip closed East Coast Road between Orere Point and Whakatiwai.
MetService forecaster Mads Naeraa-Spiers said the intense rain band that crossed the North Island had moved to the east by this morning.
Coromandel could still get a few showers, and thunderstorms were moving in to the west coast in Northland and to Waikato and Waitomo, but it would be mostly fine in the east.
Driver 'shaking' after getting through floodwaters
Coromandel Peninsula had the most rain over the weekend with 106.5 millimetres recorded up in the pinnacles, MetService meteorologist April Clark said.
Lee Sayers, who was driving from Tauranga to Kuaotunu Beach, said she was caught out by flooding on the Coromandel Peninsula over the weekend.
She said driving conditions were so horrendous, she was shaking behind the wheel.
"I was completely shaking ... and when I got through to the other side, through the floodwaters, this guy said to me 'that was the most amazing I've ever seen'," Ms Sayers said.
"He said 'I cannot believe you did that in your car'," she said.
Melissa Fergusson and her family were due to go back to their home in Tamehere near Hamilton yesterday but the wild weather kept them on the Coromandel Peninsula.
She said it was not just flooding that caused delays, but high winds too.
"You can see it swirling through the trees and moving the trees everywhere."
Meanwhile, a monument dedicated to Captain Cook fell into the sea in the Coromandel.
There were major slips on the Kopu-Hikaui and Manaia Roads and there has been erosion along the Mercury Bay coastline, near the monument.
Thames-Coromandel mayor Sandra Goudie said the council was working on ways to save the monument.
"Unfortunately the sea beat us to it, but we're going to fight back," she said.
"My understanding is we've rescued the plinth and we're going to have a meeting with the locals on site tomorrow ... to work out where they want to replace the plinth."
Northland received its heaviest rain in the early hours of yesterday morning