Heavy rain leads to major flooding, slips, and road closures in Coromandel, New Zealand

Heavy rain leads to major flooding, slips, and road closures in Coromandel, New Zealand

Torrential rains caused serious flooding and slips in Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand forcing various roads to close on September 10, 2019.

Although forecasts stated that 110 mm (4 inches) of rain is expected, over 260 mm (10 inches) of rainfall hit The Pinnacles over the last 24 hours.

Stake Highway 25 has been closed in several spots including near Hikuai Settlement road, Whitianga to Tairua, between the intersections with Wade road and The 309 road, and Whangamata to Opoutere School. Aside from these, more roads have been closed namely Puketui Rd, Hotwater Beach Rd, Blackjack Rd, Tapu Coroglen Rd, Old Coach Road, Wentworth Valley Rd and Victoria St, Tararu.

The area in the north of Tairua was expected to receive another 30 mm to 60 mm (1 inch to 2 inches) and up to 90 mm (3.54 inches) of rainfall on top of what already fell. An emergency operations center has started reaching out to community response organizations and isolated areas.

Serious slips have also affected residents around Kuaotunu, with State Highway 25 between Kuaotunu and Whitianga closed.

Coromandel flooding on September 10, 2019. Credit: ​Thames-Coromandel District Council

Garry Towler, the Civil defense controller, warned citizens to stay off the road, "people should not attempt to drive through floodwater under any circumstances."

Towler added, "if you can avoid traveling around the eastern seabord this afternoon and overnight, do so,"

He further explained that the risk of more slips is possible as a result of the saturation.

Featured image: Coromandel flooding on September 10, 2019. Credit: ​Thames-Coromandel District Council

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