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Auckland prepares for wind after rain

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/03/2017

Aucklanders are being warned to prepare for small tornadoes after dealing with a month's rain in a day.

High winds are expected to hit the region on Sunday morning and may bring trees and power lines down, civil defence officials say.

MetService forecasts heavy rain and strong winds between 7am and 2pm. In the early afternoon localised gusts of 120 km/h are possible and there is a low risk of small tornadoes in coastal locations.

That warning comes after a wet start to the weekend.

NIWA says Auckland rainfall typically ranges from 75mm to 110mm in March but places, such as Albany and Mangere, clocked more than 100mm overnight.

The downpour included 27.6mm of rainfall between 5pm and 6pm on Friday to tie with Auckland's wettest March hour since records began in 1965.

The deluge forced frantic fire crews to respond to 45 weather-related incidents in Auckland since 6am after earlier taking more than 100 calls in the 24 hours up to 6am.

The jobs included call-outs to more than 30 flooded homes, with Mt Roskill and the North Shore the worst affected.

Watercare is urging Aucklanders to reduce their water use more as a major treatment plant struggles to deal with muddy water.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff visited residents and emergency workers in Clevedon, south-east of Auckland, who are cleaning up.

Mr Goff tweeted a picture of a slip on his own property in the area.

To the north of Auckland in Northland, Kaitaia had a record rainfall, receiving 44.6mm between 3am and 4am, according to NIWA, with hourly records beginning there in 1962. MetService said about 100mm fell there over 24 hours.

Further south the army helped rescue Sundaise Festival goers in Waikino near Waihi when the area flooded overnight on Friday.

Local residents took in the stranded campers, housing them in farm buildings and the Whatawhata Hall, while the Salvation Army took others in.

The Auckland Cup Day races at Ellerslie have been postponed until Thursday evening, while torrential rain forced Saturday's programme to be cancelled at the six-day Horse of the Year Show in Hastings.

In the Coromandel rain has eased and blue sky is visible.

State Highway 25, the Whangamata Bypass, continues to be closed because of multiple large slips. There is a detour through Whangamata town.

All other State Highway roads in the Coromandel are now open, including State Highway 25A Kopu to Hikuai.

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