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Heavy rain causes accident near Whangarei

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017

Police have cleared a serious three-vehicle crash at Mata in Northland, which has left one person in a critical condition, as severe weather hits the country's northern region on Friday.

The MetService has issued a severe rain warning for Auckland, Northland and Great Barrier Island, with up to 100mm of rain expected to hit this area on Friday and into Saturday morning.

The rain-slicked road at Mata, on State Highway 1, near Whangarei, is believed to have contributed to a crash involving a logging truck, an SUV and another vehicle on Friday morning.

Police are asking motorists to avoid the area, south of Hewletts Road - the road has been cleared, but there are significant traffic delays in both directions.

The driver of the SUV, travelling south, spun out following an overtaking manoeuvre, and has hit a vehicle in the northbound lane, police said.

The driver of the northbound vehicle is in a critical condition. Thunder and rain on Friday could also disrupt the British and Irish Lions' training for their first tour match, which will take place in Whangarei on Saturday.

Thundery downpours of 25mm to 40mm per hour were possible, the MetService said. The Coromandel Peninsula could get some rain as well.

People living in these areas have been advised to look out for rapidly rising streams and rivers.

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