Heavy rain hits Bay of Plenty and Coromandel, more rain on way for Auckland

Floodwaters at the Whangamata golf course on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Amy Williams

The death toll from this week’s flooding around Auckland has now risen to four, after the body of a man swept away by floodwaters in Onewhero on Friday found today.

Police said while formal identification is yet to be completed, it is believed to be the missing man.

He was found by a drone operator about 1km downstream from where he was last seen.

At a media conference this afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the death of four people was was ‘horrific’.

“I think it’s been a traumatic experience. … That’s the most horrific part of it that we’ve lost lives.

“Clearly alongside every Aucklander and New Zealander we share in our condolences and sadness with that person’s family.”

Meanwhile, the belt of rain which has brought flooding and slips across northern New Zealand is currently mainly centred over the Waikato and Waitomo District.

Authorities in the Coromandel say the peninsula is completely cut off after heavy rain has pummelled the region, causing flooding and slips.

Residents in already hard-hit areas like Auckland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty are on watch for thunderstorms and more heavy rain.

MetService now says there could be heavy rain and thunderstorms as far south as the Marlborough Sounds and the Rai Valley as well as Tasman. It has put in place heavy rain warnings for Auckland, Waikato, Waitomo, Mount Taranaki, Marlborough Sounds and Tasman northwest of Motueka. Thunderstorm watches are also in place for Manawatu, Tararua and Kapiti-Horowhenua.

Source: RNZ