Weather: Mangawhai hit by latest heavy rain, now forecast to move to Hawke's Bay

More than 200 people spent the night sheltering in camps in Mangawhai in Northland on Friday night as several slips blocked exit routes, with the latest weather event still blowing through the North Island.

Overnight, Mangawhai residents who could not go back home stayed over at schools in the Kaipara District.

Kaipara civil defence controller John Burt said roads would be reassessed at first day light.

The majority of routes might remain closed due to major slips, including the main road between Kaiwaka and Mangawhai, he said.

Waka Kotahi is advising that due to a slip near the intersection of State Highway 1 and Otioro Road, Topuni and multiple local road closures through Mangawhai, there is currently no access between Northland and Auckland regions.

State Highway 16 is also closed, due to flooding, between Taupaki Road and Old Railway Road.

Fire and Emergency said it had responded to 112 weather-related calls since Friday evening, in Auckland and Northland.

Many of the callouts were to help people stranded due to slips and flooding on roads.

That included about 30 cars trapped on Friday night between slips on Tara Road in Mangawhai.

Meanwhile, heavy rain is set to hit Hawke's Bay on Saturday and MetService has put a heavy rain warning in place for the district until 1pm on Saturday and a severe thunderstorm watch is in place until 5pm on Saturday.

Hawke's Bay could expect a further 70-120mm of rain about the ranges, and also away from the ranges north of Hastings (which includes the Esk Valley area and the Wairoa District), MetService said.

Hawke's Bay Emergency Management Controller Ian Macdonald said his biggest fear was if more rain than forecast fell.

Macdonald said localised downpours were a problem when silt was still around, but he believed the region was in a good position to cope.

"Plenty of resources at the moment, obviously we're now fully activated and have been for a week and a half, we've got lots of New Zealand Defence Force here, so you know we're in a good space if we do need to evacuate people."

The residents of Esk Valley were evacuated on Friday ahead of the heavy rain and Macdonald urged all Hawke's Bay residents to be prepared to evacuate if they needed to.

Hundreds of soldiers are in the region helping to deliver supplies to isolated communities.

"We are just pre-positioning for any other regions where the Emergency Management Agency decide that they need to proactively move people," Lieutenant Colonel Mike Nochete said on Friday.

In Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stolz urged locals to seek help if they needed it this weekend, with the latest deluge likely causing more slips and flooding.

More atrocious weather had held back cyclone clean-up efforts and dampened people's spirits, she said.

It may mean more people would need support from council and Civil Defence, Stolz said.

"We might have missed people and we want to know if you need anything, so if you need to make contact with the Gisborne District Council Civil Defence please reach out, we are there to help you."

Meanwhile, staff from the National Emergency Management Agency and council are still working out how to make a risky debris dam safer, so locals can return home.

Sixty-four homes were evacuated in Tokomaru Bay on Thursday due to fears a debris dam on the Mangahauini River would fail during more heavy rain.

Stoltz said the dam had held up so far, and staff were working at pace to come up with a solution.

New National Emergency Management Agency advice

  • Heavy rain could cause further flooding, landslides, and damage to roads in regions impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

  • Put safety first. Act quickly if you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.

  • Have grab bags ready with: medications, snacks, water, torches, pet food, and baby formula (if needed) in case you need to evacuate.

  • Plan where you will go if you have to evacuate.

  • Ensure that you have enough food, water, and other essential supplies to last for several days.

  • Stay up to date with the latest information from MetService and your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.

  • Wear protective clothing when cleaning flood water and mud including: mask, goggles, gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and gumboots or work shoes.