Northland flooding forces resident returning home to camp in car overnight

A Northland resident had to race to work on Saturday morning after spending the night in his car trapped by floodwaters.

Waitangi man Jamie told Northland More FM he had been trying to get home after picking up a motorbike in Huntly on Friday night but was stopped by severe weather that hit Northland overnight.

Whangarei suffered significant flooding with waters encroaching houses and businesses.

Roads in the area, including a large part of State Highway 11, have been closed in the early hours of Saturday morning with Civil Defence (CD) and police urging residents to stay off the roads.

"Please stay off the roads in darkness unless you absolutely need to and it's a matter of life or death really," Northland CD's Murray Soljak warned.

Two welfare centres were set up in Tikipunga and Whangarei but Jamie had already made it further north.

"I've had a very lonely quiet night in my car," he told Northland More FM on Saturday.

"I ended up parking up in Kawakawa for most of the night."

He said he was up early in the morning to try and get to work at an angus stud farm.

"I managed to sneak through the three bridges at Kawkawa but now I'm stuck at the bottom of Turntable Hill."

Jamie said "there's actually not a lot of people around telling us what's going on" so wasn't sure if he would make it to work.