Friday, 27 February 2009 - 11:57am |
National News

Extreme weather warning for Waikato

1 min read

27 February 2009

Consider if you really need to leave home and if you don't then, well don't is the message from Waikato Police to boaties and trampers on the eve of a forecasted weather bomb expected to hit the region this weekend.

A severe weather warning has been issued for the upper North Island tonight and

tomorrow expected to effect Northland tonight, Auckland and the Coromandel tomorrow morning and the Bay of Plenty and Waikato in the afternoon.

The Coromandel is expected to face up to 250mm of rain while it is forecasted the Northern Waikato will see 100mm over a 12-18 hour period.

Also expected is a period of severe east to northeast gales with gusts of 120km/hr about parts of Auckland, inland Waikato near the Kaimai Range, and the Firth of Thames area from the early hours of Saturday to the afternoon.

Winds of this strength could damage trees, powerlines and insecure roofs, and make driving hazardous for high sided vehicles and motorcyclists.

Contingency planning between Police, Civil Defence, Councils and other agencies is underway and Waikato Operations Manager, Acting Inspector Freda Grace, said the public could help as well.

"People need to ask themselves do they really need to travel and if not stay at home?

"There's not too much pleasure to be taken tramping in atrocious weather conditions and we'd rather not risk the lives of Police staff and civilian volunteer Search and Rescue teams if we could avoid it."

Mrs Grace said those already in the bush should try and complete any necessary river crossings today and if not able to move to higher ground.

At the same time Police are cautioning boaties to ensure their moorings are secure and asking smaller vessels to make for harbour.

"We would also ask farmers to see to the welfare of their stock and ask property owners to check their out buildings for loose roofing iron and structural integrity."