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Stormy weather on the way won't match Australia

Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 Apr 2017, 7:12AM

Stormy weather on the way won't match Australia

Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Tue, 4 Apr 2017, 7:12AM

Officials are warning New Zealanders to take care and stay indoors as the remains of a destructive cyclone heads towards the country.

LISTEN ABOVE: Metservice meteorologist Lisa Murray spoke to Rachel Smalley

Heavy rainfalls are forecast for central parts of the North Island and the upper South Island, fallout from Cyclone Debbie moving across the Tasman after causing widespread flooding in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.

Metservice relates the Taranaki region could be one of the worst hit regions, with a heavy rain warning already in place.

Authorities are expecting 400 millimetres to fall on Mount Taranaki, 250 millimetres near the coast, and 125 millimetres set to fall in central Taranaki over the next 48 hours.

But MetService forecaster Lisa Murray told Rachel Smalley it won't be anything like Australia's had.

"Queensland got 1000 millimetres in 48 hours of rainfall. It won't be anything like that for us."

Civil Defence duty officer Shane Briggs said residents need to check their drains are clear as well as tying down all loose furniture or items outdoors that "could become airborne" in high winds.

There's also a moderate chance of thunderstorms in Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula.

Ms Murray told Rachel Smalley there could be localised downpours and flooding in low-lying places.

"You could see downpours of even 40 millimetres in an hour so that's going to cause surface flooding. It could cause landslips, things like that."

Bruce Pepperell, Wellington Civil Defence regional manager, said people should stay calm, as the approaching storm isn't classified as a cyclone. He is, however, expecting a "significant dump of rain."

"Many of the councils are mindful of this and are getting ready. Certainly we're keeping an eye on things and Civil Defence is taking advice from Metservice."

Public Information manager for Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Chris Choat said the simple message is for residents, especially farmers, to be informed and aware.

"These rivers rise really quickly. No one can tell when and where it's going to happen. You need to be aware."

"If there is surface water flooding - don't race through it," Choat warned. "Just drive through it calmly. It only creates waves and bigger issues for other properties that may be suffering from flooding."

Mark Owens of the New Zealand Transport Agency is reassuring motorists that in the event of any slips or other damage, crews will be on hand.

"Our contractors will be out monitoring, so they'll be responding if roads are affected and they'll be working as hard as they can to get roads back up and working if they are impacted," he said.

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