Auckland Council warns of possible 'intense rainfall', risk of flooding this summer due to El Niño

Storm water gushing down Auckland's Wairua stream following heavy rainfall last year.
Storm water gushing down Auckland's Wairua stream following heavy rainfall last year. Photo credit: Getty Images (file)

Auckland Council is warning Aucklanders they could be affected by heavy rain and storms this summer - even if they haven't seen flood waters near their properties before.

Their new campaign, Be Prepared, launches this week, and comes with an interactive map showing flood risk data for the whole region.

"With the changing climate, we're seeing more extreme weather events in Tāmaki Makaurau," the council said in a statement on Tuesday. 

"This year, a strong El Niño weather pattern will bring us more variable rainfall this summer than previous El Niño seasons, including the likelihood of intense rainfall and possibly severe storms." 

To prepare Aucklanders for flood risks, the council has provided videos and guides to the Be Prepared page on the Flood Viewer site.

Auckland Council's healthy waters head of planning, Nick Vigar said it's essential that people are not only prepared for the possibility of floods, but also understand the risks. 

"We see people using our Flood Viewer not just to understand their home's flood risk, but also to make informed decisions when looking at somewhere new to buy or rent," Vigar said.

People can check Flood Viewer to see if their home is at risk from flooding. 

"Auckland Council has made increasing community resilience to floods a priority, and part of this is giving people the tools to make smart decisions to prepare themselves and their homes," Vigar added.

The Be Prepared page on Flood Viewer also has a selection of useful information and resources about what to do before, during, and after a storm. 

This includes how to make an emergency plan, preparing your home for the possibility of flooding, how to stay safe during a flood, and the actions you can take to protect your home or business from flooding. It also explains your responsibilities if you have a stream or creek on or near your property. 

Types of flooding 

The Flood Viewer map can help identify whether you should be aware of types of flooding in or around your property - or potential home. 

Flood plains 

Areas predicted to be covered by flood water during heavy rain. 

Flood prone areas 

Low-lying areas where water can become trapped and collect during heavy rain, especially if the stormwater outlet is blocked or reaches capacity. 

Overland flow paths 

The route water will naturally take across the ground during heavy rain when the stormwater network is at capacity, or where there is no stormwater network. 

Coastal inundation 

Coastal areas predicted to be covered by sea water during large storms.