Auckland traffic: City lashed by torrential rain, strong winds as commuters battle to work

Aucklanders are waking up to wet and wild weather on Monday as a torrential downpour and strong winds batter the Super City, spelling chaos for early morning commuters.

All ferry services from Gulf Harbour in the north and Pine Harbour in the east have been replaced by buses until further notice due to the conditions. 

Congestion was building along State Highway 1 in the city's northern suburbs between Albany and Wairau Valley shortly after 6am, with heavy traffic also reported in the south between Drury and Mt Wellington.

A crash on State Highway 1's southern motorway between Papakura and Takanini at around 6am also contributed to delays from Drury.

The Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is urging commuters to take extra care on the roads. 

"With MetService predicting heavy rain and strong winds this morning, please take it slow, keep your lights on and increase your following distance on the roads today," it tweeted shortly before 7:30am.

"Allow extra time for your morning commute."

The city is in for a drenching with about 80mm of rainfall expected on Monday. MetService meteorologist Andy Best said strong winds are also forecast and urged commuters to exercise caution on the roads.

"People who are driving with small vehicles, with trailers, or even campervans… will be very susceptible to these very strong northeasterly winds," he said.

MetService has issued both heavy rain and strong wind warnings for Auckland, the former also including Great Barrier Island.

"Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous," the forecaster said.

Blustery gales are expected to batter exposed places, with gusts reaching the lower warning threshold of 90 to 100 km/h, particularly in eastern areas.

"Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles."

The wet and wild conditions are also extending further north, with the NZTA warning of delays between Oakleigh and Otaika "due to poor weather and high demand".

"Traffic delays are occurring northbound... allow extra time for your commute this morning."

A number of severe weather warnings and watches have been issued across the country.
A number of severe weather warnings and watches have been issued across the country. Photo credit: MetService

At 8:45am, a breakdown on State Highway 20 was blocking the left southbound lane shortly after the Southbound Waterview Tunnel, causing "some delays".

"Pass with care and expect some delays through this area until [the breakdown is] cleared," the NZTA warned. 

In an update at 10am, it confirmed the breakdown has been cleared and delays in the area have eased.

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