Severe thunderstorm watch for North Island

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 01: A pedestrian crosses in the intersection of Queen Street and Victoria Street during heavy rain on July 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. Heavy rain and thunderstorms continue to move over the region in a wet and cold start to July.  (Photo by Jason Oxenham/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty/file

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for several North Island regions, as well as warnings of torrential rain.

Metservice says severe thunderstorms are possible in Auckland, Waikato, Waitomo, Taumaranui, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo, Hawkes Bay and Taihepe. 

A trough with a moist northerly flow could also bring torrential rain of 25 to 50mm or more per hour this afternoon and evening in west Auckland, inland Hawkes Bay and the inland western parts of Bay of Plenty and Rotorua.

Metservice warns that rain of this intensity can cause flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas including streams, river and narrow valleys as well as slips.

Drivers should take care due to poor visibility and the likelihood of surface flooding.

It comes after heavy flooding in the Bay of Plenty on Monday, which overwhelmed the wastewater system in Ōpōtiki and led to portaloos being set up around the town in the evening.

 Several roads are closed this morning and the Ōpōtiki District Council says it could take days to clear the debris and repair the damage caused by flooding.

The following roads are closed:

  • Mōtū Road (Waiaua)
  • Tutaetoko Road  blocked from slip and investigations being carried out on the bridge so may be closed for some time
  • Gault Road
  • Pakahi Road
  • Otara East Road
  • Toones Road
  • Waiotahi Valley Road
  • Tirohanga is open with caution.
  • NZTA have advised SH 2 Waioeka Gorge is open but down to one lane in parts.

Surface flooding has also closed a section of SH1 between Cobham Dr and Lorne St in Hamilton.