Weather: Heavy rain and flooding in Coromandel causing havoc on roads

The relentless rain continues to batter the Coromandel, causing severe flooding and slips on the roads - with more rain on the way.

Civil Defence is urging people to stay off the roads as photos from the scene show travellers trying to make their way through completely saturated roads to escape the storm.

SH25 south of Whitianga.
SH25 south of Whitianga. Photo credit: Newshub.

The Coromandel is under an orange heavy rain warning until 12pm on Friday. MetService said the warning may be extended as further bursts of heavy rain are possible during the remainder of Friday.

"While in Northland the worst of the rain has now eased, the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty are in line for a lot more wet weather in the coming days," MetService meteorologist Jessie Owen said.

MetService said an additional 200mm of rain can be expected during this period, which will bring the total so far to over 400mm in just 72 hours in the Coromandel.

The heavy rain is causing havoc on the roads, with multiple closures in place.

Waka Kotahi NZTA said due to a slip, State Highway 25 is closed east of the Coromandel township. SH25 is also closed from Te Mata Creek Rd, Te Mata, to Waikawau Valley Rd, Kereta, due to a fallen tree. The same highway is closed from the intersection to Tairua due to flooding.

The agency also said due to flooding, SH29 is closed between Wade Rd, Whitianga, and 309 Rd, Kaimarama.

"With such a large amount of rain, high tide at 7pm this evening and again at 8am tomorrow morning will likely cause further flooding and additional road closures are likely," Thames-Coromandel District Council said.

Holidaymakers travelling in the Coromandel.
Holidaymakers travelling in the Coromandel. Photo credit: Newshub.
Road slip in Coromandel.
Road slip in Coromandel. Photo credit: Newshub.

Civil Defence said most of the eastern seaboard is currently closed and is urging people to avoid travelling.

"The biggest concern for us tonight is the high tide at 7pm and the impacts of that because we have had a lot of rain. We have had 200mm in the past 24 hours, we've got another 200 in the next 24 hours… which is a lot of rain," Thames Coromandel District Civil Defence controller Garry Towler told Newshub.

Towler said there was a mass exodus of holidaymakers who left the area on Wednesday following advice from Civil Defence. However, he said there could be some urban flooding and some people in the low-lying areas may need to evacuate for a short period of time.

About 220 households were without power overnight, however, power has been restored for most locals, Towler said.

The severe weather has also forced multiple music concerts to cancel, including most recently the Rockin Horse festival. It has closed the Pāuanui, Matarangi, Tairua and Coromandel Town Refuse Transfer Stations and shut the Cathedral Cove walking track, Thames-Coromandel District Council said.

Other parts of the upper North Island and exposed parts of the South Island are also in for heavy rain and strong winds on Thursday and Friday.