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Deluge of rain swamps Far North

Breaking Earth News
New Zealand

Related Video
Rain swamps Far North - Part 1 (2:10)
Rain swamps Far North - Part 2 (3:22)

Northland has been completely cut off from the rest of New Zealand after almost two months worth of rain (about 245mm) has fallen in the Far North in less than a day today. Roads are closed, rivers are flooding and people across the region are being told to go home. Flooding has also caused some houses to be swept away. People living in the Opua region are being urged to evacuate their houses as potential cliff-top slips are endangering some properties. Police are warning people to stay off the roads as swelling rivers increase flooding. The severe weather also kept coast guards busy. In Whangarei, rain mixed with raw sewage has flooded streets in the city, forcing business owners to sandbag their doors. The city's rivers are already close to bursting their banks with high tide on the way. MetService says the worst is far from over and is predicting the area from Whangarei south could get another 60 to 90 millimetres this evening. Ruakaka residents are already describing the rain as THE WORST IN MEMORY, with roads blocked and businesses swamped. While Northland is bearing the brunt of the storm at the moment, other parts of New Zealand are being warned they are next. There are already reports of some North Shore houses being flooded in Auckland. The bad weather was caused by a very moist northeast flow that has spread rain over much of northern and central New Zealand. The reason the rain has lasted so long is because of a large anticyclone over the Chatham Islands. "This stationary high-pressure centre is what we call a blocking high. Northern New Zealand is now in the region where subtropical moisture flows down from the northeast." In the 24 hours ending 9am Thursday, 150mm of rain had fallen in Kaikohe and 268mm had fallen in Kerikeri. In these places the average March rainfall is around 100 millimetres. The bad weather has also caused power outages throughout the North Island and some outages of phone service
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