Savage weather: Auckland, Northland and North Island regions hit by severe storm

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A state of emergency was declared in Nelson, on the west coast and in Buller as heavy rains continued to hit the country. Video / Tim Cuff / George Heard / Phil GJ / Alison Boswijk / Terra Firma Engineering Limited / Supplied

LAST STORM
* State of emergency in force in the West Coast and Tasmania regions;
* Far North cut off after SH1 blocked by landslide at Mangamuku Gorge and flooding at Kaeo;
* Schools are closed and vehicles are stuck between slides on SH1;
* Northern regions are under heavy orange rain and strong wind warnings;
* Gales are expected to reach 120 km/h at the top of the country;
* Northland will receive another 140 mm of rain until 9 a.m. Friday;
* Aucklanders warned to watch for flooding and dangerous driving conditions;
* Hundreds of people remain evacuated in Nelson and Buller after flooding

Strong gales and heavy rain wreak havoc across the top of the country with slides, fallen trees and flooding blocking major roads, and a dramatic rescue of an elderly man underway using a surf club inflatable boat.

Schools on the top of the island have closed for the day and the Far North is all but cut off after slides in the Mangamuka Gorge blocked SH1 and flooding made the SH10 alternative at Kaeo impassable.

Several vehicles, including a truck that cannot turn around, are stuck between two slides on the sloping road.

Emergency services are also trying to rescue an elderly person from a flooded house in Kaitaia and have called the Far North Surf Rescue Team IRB to help.

A yacht sank in Auckland’s Waitematā Harbor after breaking its mooring and crashing into the rocky breakwater at Tamaki Dr.

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Strong winds expected to reach 120 km/h are blowing across Northland today, while heavy rain is expected to continue until tomorrow morning.

A yacht sinks after hitting rocks in Waitematā Harbor in Auckland.  Photo/Michael Craig
A yacht sinks after hitting rocks in Waitematā Harbor in Auckland. Photo/Michael Craig

Wakai Kotahi said SH1 was stuck at Hikurangi with trees on the road, but a detour was available on the Hikurangi bypass.

In Auckland, strong winds and heavy rain are battering the city, disrupting public transport.

MetService predicts up to 90mm of additional rain will fall in the region through 4am tomorrow and winds up to 95km/h.

People are told to exercise extreme caution while driving in heavy rain and to delay travel if possible.

The country’s peak just recorded its hottest August nights on record.

This morning, Vector’s power outage map showed parts of Titirangi, New Lynn, Wood Bay, Taupaki and Wairau Valley on the North Shore, all without power.

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