Former Cyclone Ita Brings Severe Weather to New Zealand; Floods and Power Cuts Hit Auckland
By Reissa Su | April 17, 2014 6:29 PM EST
What remains of the former cyclone Ita has left New Zealand's Auckland flooded due to strong winds and torrential rain. The Easter weekend has begun, but some residents have to deal with power cuts and road closures.
Tropical Cyclone Ita is seen just off-shore near Cape Flattery, Queensland, Australia in this NOAA image taken by the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument at 23:35EST April 10 or 03:35GMT April 11, 2014. Torrential rains were forcing residents and tourists to flee coastal areas along the Great Barrier Reef as the strongest cyclone in three years barrelled across the Coral Sea for the Australian mainland. Tropical Cyclone Ita is forecast by meteorologists to cross the coast near Cooktown on Australia's far northeast coast between 1100 and 1400 GMT. REUTERS/NOAA/NASA/Handout via Reuters
Power service provider Vector Energy is still working to restore electricity to over 15,000 customers. The flooded Tamaki Drive was closed temporarily because of flooding.
According to the MetService, the winds at the Harbour Bridge as high as 100 km/h but has since died down to 70 km/h. Winds at the airport had reached 90 km/h before slowing to 70 km/h. The wild weather is on its way to North Island. Wellington residents are expected to prepare for the severe weather as it moves further south overnight, according to the MetService.
Earlier in the morning of April 17, Tamaki Drive was closed due to rising tides and severe flooding brought by heavy rain. Authorities had closed the road as the water rose with some residents still trapped inside their homes.
The MetService has previously issued severe weather warnings for Auckland, Northland, Coromandel, Nelson, Marlborough, Taranaki and Southland. Residents were warned that the latest weather system was similar to the remnants of Cyclone Lusi which hit New Zealand in March.
The worst-hit areas were the north and northeastern part of Auckland, including Kiapara and Helensville which was severely affected. Dozens of incoming and outgoing flights have been cancelled at Auckland Airport due to severe weather.
Northland Regional Council Deputy Harbour Master Chidambaram Surendam has urged those who will go out to sea to check with the marine forecast first to avoid getting hit by bad weather.
According to the Fire Service, there received no reports of fallen trees on houses.
The heavy rain caught up with Prince William and wife Katherine as they bid New Zealand farewell. The Royals with Prince George in tow left for Australia on the second leg of their tour.
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