Thunderstorms are expected in parts of the North Island in the evening, while multiple slides are causing delays at some locations along the Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti highways due to heavy rain last night.
A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 9 p.m. tonight for Taumarunui, Taranaki, Taihape, Whanganui and Manawatu, according to MetService.
There is also a moderate risk of isolated afternoon thunderstorms over Northland and north/eastern parts of Auckland which can bring localized heavy rain of 10-25mm/hr and hail.
There is also a low risk of a small tornado or funnel cloud in eastern Northland, MetService said.
Waka Kotahi said his crews were working to clear the slips between Central Hawke’s Bay and East Cape.
Damage to roads in central Hawke’s Bay had left some people isolated and unable to leave their homes.
The district has already experienced its wettest winter in recent memory and some coastal areas received nearly 100 millimeters of rain last night.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council said flooding problems were increasing by the hour.
The council has to dump sewage into the river to prevent it from overflowing and it fears a boil water advisory for the town of Waipukurau is in the works.
Between Napier and Wairoa there are slides at Devil’s Elbow, Tangoio and the Mohaka Viaduct.
There are also several slides on the Napier-Taupō road.
Further north in Gisborne there are slides at four locations – Okitu Hill, Hicks Bay, Makorori and Loisel Gorge.
Waka Kotahi advises drivers to be careful and expect delays when traveling on national highways in the region.