Water pours through the lights at Middlemore Hospital during a severe thunderstorm in Auckland. Video / Supplied
Thunderstorms have swept through the Auckland region, wreaking havoc on roads across the city and prompting a warning to stay indoors and seek shelter.
There are reports of flash flooding as well as hail, thunder and lightning. Some roads have become “rivers of water” while video posted to social media appears to show water pouring through the light fittings at one of the region’s busiest hospitals.
Fire crews are responding to more than 50 weather-related incidents from Hatfields Beach to Manukau, including trees that have blown onto houses, trees down across roads, water entering property, and loose roofing iron.
There is also at least one report of a sprinkler having been set off by water coming in through the ceiling, and multiple other alarms that have been set off by the weather.
It also means a wet evening for Toa Samoa fans gathered around the region and also Six-60 concert-goers at Eden Park as MetService advises people to take shelter.
Shortly before 6pm, MetService weather radar detected severe thunderstorms near Orewa, Puhoi, Whangaparaoa and Silverdale moving towards the south-southeast.
The initial areas hit by the barrage of rain were Albany, inner Hauraki Gulf, North Shore, Whangaparaoa, Takapuna, Browns Bay, Greenhithe, Birkenhead, Milford, Mairangi Bay, Glenfield, North Harbour, Long Bay, Torbay, Rothesay Bay and Castor Bay.
By 7pm, the thunderstorms had tracked over Howick, Manukau, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Mt Wellington, Mt Roskill, One Tree Hill, Remuera, Ellerslie, Panmure, Mission Bay, St Heliers, Glen Innes, Otahuhu, Onehunga, Mangere, Papatoetoe, Pakuranga and Auckland Airport.
Central Auckland was pounded with a short, powerful deluge around 6.30pm.
Shortly after 8pm, MetService said the current threat of severe thunderstorms had passed, but were expected to be more heavy downpours during the night.
Prior to their rapid arrival, MetService warned the thunderstorms could be accompanied by very heavy rain which can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, making driving conditions extremely hazardous.
A resident in Torbay said that hail, rain and thunder have hit the area, causing a mini-stream flood in their house.
Meanwhile, residents in Orewa are reporting treacherous amounts of rain and wild storms as they hunker down indoors.
One motorist reported that they had to pull over.
In Auckland City, savage wind gusts and downpours are forcing people to take cover in nearby shops.
Deep visible surface flooding has also been reported on Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga.
Social media users also posted videos of the rain seeping through door jams and also coming through aluminium window frames.
The National Emergency Management Agency advises that as storms approach you should:
- Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows
- Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside
- Get back to land, if outdoors on the water
- Move cars under cover or away from trees
- Secure any loose objects around your property
- Check that drains and gutters are clear
- Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving
MetService advises that during and after the storm, you should also:
- Beware of fallen trees and power lines
- Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding