New Zealand – Evacuations After 90mm of Rain in 1 Hour Causes Floods in Auckland

Torrential rain of up to 90 mm in 1 hour fell in northern New Zealand, causing dozens of families to evacuate their homes.

Floods in Kumeu New Zealand 31 August 2021. Photo: Helensville Volunteer Fire Brigade

Fifty to sixty homes were evacuated in West Auckland after flooding struck during the night 30 to 31 August 2021.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said people largely self evacuated and were staying with friends and family. Evacuation centres were also set up. Auckland Emergency Management said any need to evacuate overrides the COVID-19 lockdown rules.

As much as 90 mm of rain fell in 1 hour. However, Mayor Goff said the flooding was largely unexpected. “We knew it was going to rain… but there was no early indication that this was likely to cause the level of flooding it has.”

As of 31 August, flooding had affected communities in Kumeu, Huapai, Ranui, Piha and Henderson Valley. Around 12 roads were closed in the area as a result of flooding and landslides. Around 13 people were rescued from flood waters by emergency services who received 150 calls for help. The mayor said fire, police and emergency management services were all coping well and there was no need to declare a state of emergency.

A total of 208.2 mm of rain fell in Kumeū in 24 hours to 31 August, which is the town’s second wettest day since records began in 1943 and 149% of the August monthly normal rainfall.

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