Thursday, 24 December 2015

Houses flooded in Omaha, north of Auckland

The MetService on Thursday afternoon issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, saying there could localised downpours of 25 to 35mm/hr during Thursday evening. Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, MetService said.
The heavy rain should ease from the north during Thursday evening.
Fire Service northern communications shift manager Megan Ruru said fire crew remained at one home in Omaha, pumping water out of a basement. 
Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) spokesman Hamish Keith said he'd received reports of flooding to a few basements. 
The group had been in touch with residents in the community but none needed welfare assistance, he said. 
CDEM was liaising with emergency services and Auckland Council to keep an eye on the situation.
"The rain is expected to ease over the course of the afternoon," Keith said. 
The New Zealand Fire Service were called to four incidents in Omaha, on Meiklejohn Way, and The Southern Isle Rd, after reports of flooding. 
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One house was completely flooded and crew had to unblock a nearby drain. 
Three other properties had been flooded but there was no reported damage to the interiors, Ruru said. 
Other parts of Auckland, including the central city, were also hit by the brief downpour.
MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray said parts of north Auckland including Omaha and Kaipara suffered the heaviest rain. 
Omaha had received 10mm of rain per hour, while Kaipara had 15mm. 
There was a trough lingering over Auckland which brought localised downpours which would take a few hours to dissipate, leaving scattered showers in the evening, she said. 
Temperatures were averaging 18 to 20 degrees. 
In Omaha, Meiklejohn Way resident William Freeth said he'd watched fire trucks whizzing up and down the street. 
He had a gauge which measured the rain. 
"We were reading about 17mm and then something like two and a half hours later it was 155mm," he said. "It just sort of came out of nowhere. There's not much damage, just little bits and pieces. It's amazing, ultimately the land soaks up the wrath of the heavens. 
"The joke is that some people filled up their tanks yesterday with water. That costs like $170." 
Another resident said The Southern Isle Rd suffered the worst damage but that most flooding in Omaha was "pretty bad". 
Resident Sam Price tweeted a photo of the flooding, with the caption "water trucks and rain".