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Flooding in Te Atatu on Tuesday morning (Image: Ben Gracewood)
Flooding in Te Atatu on Tuesday morning (Image: Ben Gracewood)

SocietyMay 9, 2023

Time to prepare for more Auckland flooding

Flooding in Te Atatu on Tuesday morning (Image: Ben Gracewood)
Flooding in Te Atatu on Tuesday morning (Image: Ben Gracewood)

Severe weather warnings are in place in Tāmaki Makaurau just months after January’s floods caught the city by surprise. 

It’s raining again, nothing new. But with severe thunderstorm warnings in place and flooding already beginning in west Auckland, it all feels a bit like déjà vu. Last time, there was a sense that maybe it was just usual heavy rain. Then suddenly it wasn’t. This time, we know what’s coming.

Severe thunderstorm warning for Northland and Auckland

At 11am, Metservice’s weather radar detected a line of severe thunderstorms lying from Marsden Point to Port Albert to Huapai. The thunderstorms are moving and expected to lie from Ruakaka to Wellsford to Henderson at 11.30am and from Hen and Chicken Islands to Wellsford to Auckland at Midday. These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by torrential rain.

Metservice has thunderstorm watches in place for the upper North Island for the period between 1pm and 10pm today, Tuesday. The warning is for thunderstorms and torrential rain as well as wind gusts up to 110km/h.

“Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips.”

Metservice rain radar for Auckland on Tuesday

Early afternoon is the projected peak

The rain seems to be moving ahead of schedule and Metservice says the peak is expected to hit Auckland “the next 2-3 hours”, meaning shortly after lunch. Rain has been off and on across the city all morning so those commuting would be advised to keep an eye on roads and traffic before heading out.

Do not drive through floodwaters

Pretty self-explanatory. Never try to walk or swim through flood water. If you are having to wade through floodwaters, keep in mind it may contain sewage so try and get clean as soon as you can, wash your hands and and wash your clothes when you can.

Secure your property

NEMA has a lot of handy tips here for securing your property ahead of a storm. Strong winds can lift even large, heavy objects, and the Get Ready site warns that “anything not secured may become a projectile”. Either tie down trampolines or turn them upside down to minimise the exposure to wind, bring your bins and other large items indoors and check trees for weak or hanging limbs. “Identify a safe place in your home to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be a place where there are no windows, skylights or glass doors,” the guide reads. During a storm, do not go outside or drive unless absolutely necessary.

Check in on your loved ones

Phone or message your loved ones to check that they are OK or if they need anything ahead of tonight, especially those who live alone. There was much talk about having emergency plans in place during cyclone Gabrielle. Now is the time to use them, even if it might feel a bit dramatic or premature.

Helpful follows

Auckland MPs and councillors have previously been good at sharing information as it comes to hand. If you’re more likely to be on social media than on this website, consider following your local representatives and the emergency services for updates, including but not limited to:

Auckland Emergency Management


Chlöe Swarbrick – Auckland Central MP

Michael Woods – Mt Roskill MP and minister of transport

Richard Hills – Councillor, North Shore

Josephine Bartley – Councillor, South Auckland

FM radio stations like RNZ, The Hits, NewstalkZB and MoreFM will all have updates in case of an emergency.

Keep going!