Weather: Flooding in Otago, hail storms, 'plenty' of thunderstorms in North Island

Floods, heavy rain and hail storms are hitting both the North and South Island on Saturday.

Video supplied to Newshub shows raging rivers in Otematata in Canterbury and a heavy hail storm in Tasman Bay.

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Hastings and Wairoa.

The thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by very heavy rain.

A severe thunderstorm watch remains in place for Waikato, Bay of Plenty Rotorua, Taupo, Gisbourne and Hawkes Bay.

MetService says any thunderstorms are expected to bring heavy rain of up to 25 mm, hail, and possibly small tornadoes.

A storm has moved in over Auckland, where localised downpours will continue into the evening.

Heavy rain watches and warnings are in place for parts of Canterbury and Otago, Northland, the Coromandel Peninsula and eastern Waikato.

According to NZ Herald, rising water of Silverstream cut off the Whare Flat Folk Festival northwest of Dunedin, leaving 200 people stranded.

As storms approach, The National Emergency Management Agency advises people should:

  • Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows
  • Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside
  • Get back to land, if outdoors on the water
  • Move cars under cover or away from trees
  • Secure any loose objects around your property
  • Check that drains and gutters are clear
  • Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving.

It's expected that the storms will ease at midnight.