Sunday, April 14

Flooding creeps up around homes in Porirua, closes roads

Flooding is threatening homes in Porirua and has closed roads, and MetService has warned of widespread storms, including the possibility of tornadoes in some areas.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker said floodwaters were rising around some houses, and the problem was expected to get worse with ongoing bursts of torrential rain.

“It’s gone into their garages – I’ve got a lady who’s keeping in constant contact – it’s already in their garages, but their house is a little bit higher, but it’s surrounding their houses and their heat pumps and things like that, so it can’t be far away.”

Homes in Mana and Plimmerton were at risk, and firefighters were operating a pump to try to clear the water.

Baker asked people to stay off the roads if possible, and if they are driving, to watch for sewer manhole covers which can pop out with flooding. Anyone who needed help should contact the council or Fire and Emergency for assistance.

Flooding at Plimmerton Roundabout on SH59, north of Wellington, at 1pm Sunday.
Photos: Supplied/ Waka Kotahi

Flooding along the length of Mana Esplanade, in the north of Porirua, had covered both lanes of State Highway 59 (which was SH1 until recently), with water up to cars’ bumpers blocking it to traffic. The road has since reopened.

The Paremata New World supermarket on Mana Esplanade was surrounded by deep water, she said.

The water had begun coming into the store, and staff had put sandbags around the doors.

Nearby, part of State Highway 58 was closed, around the Pāuatahanui Inlet. Several kilometers inland in Porirua East, Warspite Avenue was also underwater.

“It’s like a lake has appeared. The rain has been incredibly heavy,” an RNZ reporter said, when they were forced to turn back from Warspite Avenue.

MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said an unsettled, unstable north-west flow was expected to bring severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, and strong winds. The northern and western parts of the country would be worst affected.

There was the possibility of small tornadoes along the west of both the North and South Islands today.

“We’ve got a number of warnings and watches out for severe gales, heavy rain, and in fact snow in the south.

“As well as that we’ve got road snow warnings out… and quite large swells as well, especially in the west of the country.”

Glassey said it was still snowing in parts of Central Otago and the Canterbury High Country, but it was not falling to such low levels as it did yesterday.

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Photos: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Horowhenua water treatment back, storms loom

Water supply issues in Horowhenua due to treatment plant problems had eased, but concerns remained about whether continuing heavy rain could create further interruptions.

An urgent call went out yesterday asking residents in the area, north of Wellington, to conserve water to avoid overloading the water treatment plant during heavy rain and winds.

Power was cut to many properties when lightning strikes hit power lines and transformers, and warnings were placed on roads due to flooding.

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Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden said the treatment plant was back up and running, but there were concerns about whether the plant would be affected by ongoing stormy weather.

A severe thunderstorm, strong wind and heavy rain watch was in place for Horowhenua for the rest of Sunday and for Monday.

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