Heavy rain warning issued for Taranaki as flood cleanup continues
Tania Niwa / Stuff
Residents of Parihaka are bracing for weekend rain, having been hammered by downpour the previous weekend.
The MetService has issued a heavy rain warning for parts of Taranaki as the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Dovi move towards central New Zealand.
Up to 200 mm of rain is expected to fall on Mount Taranaki from Friday afternoon, but this figure could also increase on Saturday and Sunday.
The cyclone was moving east-northeast at more than 90kmh. The system was expected to bring heavy rain with flash flooding to the Vanuatu group on Thursday evening and continue into tomorrow.
While the mountain is already under an orange weather warning, the rest of the region is under heavy rain watch with warnings likely to be issued by the national forecast service.
* Another weekend weather watch for Taranaki
* Heavy rain warning for Taranaki Maunga, watch for North Taranaki
* Severe thunderstorms and torrential rain in grim forecasts for the week ahead
The warning comes after Niwa’s lead scientist, Chris Brandolino, told residents affected by last week’s flooding in Taranaki to have a plan to deal with more this weekend.
Preventive action was already in place in Parihaka in southern Taranaki, which suffered from flooding last weekend.
Parihaka Papakāinga Trust chairman Tuhi-Ao Bailey said houses were flooded as well as a garage which affected some appliances.
Whānau crews had cleared vegetation, filled sandbags and dug culverts while tradesmen were on hand to clean out septic tanks, inspect the water treatment plant and check electrical connections.
The heavy rain warnings come as the region continues to swelter in humid conditions and hot temperatures.
Extreme Weather Taranaki spokesman Craig Jeffrey reported that many people had measured temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius in northern Taranaki, but New Plymouth was just shy, exceeding 29.7 ° C, while the inland towns up to Hāwera were all pushing 28°C.
“It was another uncomfortable night (Wednesday) with temperatures not dropping below 22C and humidity soaring to 97%,” he said.
These high temperatures have seen New Plymouth beaches become extremely busy after school and working hours with surf rescue teams hitting East End and Fitzroy beaches after 5pm as people seek relief heat ahead of the heavy rain expected over the weekend.
Sea temperature was also above 21 degrees in New Plymouth, with some reports indicating it reached record highs in some areas.
The New Plymouth Sportfishing and Underwater Club reported early catches of mahimahi, which are not usually landed off the Taranaki coast until late March.