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Floods hit north: what you need to know

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/04/2017

The remnants of cyclone Debbie have hit the North Island causing flooding, school closures and evacuations. Here's what you need to know:

* Evacuations have begun in low-lying parts of Whanganui, with Civil Defence centres opened at Whanganui Girls College and St Paul's Church. About 170 people from 112 homes have made their way there.

* Fifty New Zealand Defence Force staff have been deployed to Whanganui to help with evacuations, fill sandbags and other measures

* Power is out to 9000 homes around Auckland - cuts in Whangaparoa, Albany, Mairangi Bay and Rosebank

* 150 children are believed to be cut off by flooding on a camp at Port Waikato School, but are not in immediate danger

* State Highway 1 is closed between Taupo and Turangi due to a slip

* Rangitikei has also declared a state of emergency and evacuations have begun in Thames

* Slips on Auckland's North Shore have led authorities to evacuate waterfront homes on Torbay's Sharon Road, while 16 people are cut off by a slip on Landing Road in Titirangi

* 89 schools and 84 early learning centres have been closed across the North Island, affecting nearly 16,000 students and pre-schoolers

* Floods and slips have also closed highways across the North Island, including: SH56 at Opiki, SH3 from Awakino Tunnel to Tongaporutu, Wayby Valley Road near Wellsford and SH25 north of Hikuai

* Warnings are also in place for several sections of highway in the Waikato, Gisborne, the Hawkes Bay and Whanganui

* Between 2am and 2pm Wednesday, Rotorua has had 74mm of rain, Tauranga 41mm, Taupo 45mm and in the 12 hours to 1pm parts of Auckland had 47mm

* The Fire Service has received more than 500 weather-related calls since Tuesday evening nationwide, with more than 180 from Auckland alone

* Dozens of roads across Auckland and Waikato remain closed, all Gulf Harbour crossings were cancelled and trains not running between Pukekohe and Papakura on Wednesday morning

* Heavy rain warnings are in place for Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Waitomo, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Taumarunui, Taupo, Taranaki, Taihape, Whanganui, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa until Thursday morning

* The main trough of weather is expected to shift through from Whanganui to Bay of Plenty on Wednesday night, with up to 40mm expected to fall in a single hour in some areas

* Heavy rain is expected to move as far south as Kaikoura and Canterbury

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