By 3 News online staff
Emergency services and Auckland Transport are working to reopen Tamaki Dr, which was closed this morning due high tides and severe flooding.
The Auckland region has been battered by extreme weather, as the remnants of Cyclone Ita wreaked havoc and cut power to more than 15,000 homes.
The Fire Service had to conduct a rescue on Tamaki Dr this morning, after a vehicle and its occupants became trapped in deep flooding.
Auckland Transport says part of the road between Ngapipi to Selwyn Ave will open shortly, followed by a section from The Strand to Ngapipi. The remaining area will reopen at around 2pm.
A spokesman from the Fire Service said flooding was waist-deep in some places this morning, and that section of Tamaki Dr was completely submerged.
Auckland Transport says there is flooding and debris on roads and a number of traffic lights are out. Commuters are being warned of significant delays, and traffic is bumper-to-bumper in some areas. Bus passengers are also being told of delays of up to an hour in some areas.
Quay St by the Ferry Building has been closed due to safety concerns about the vane on the building.
Vector Energy says the total number of customers without power is around 15,000, but it hopes to restore power by this afternoon.
The worst affected areas are north and north-east of Auckland, particularly around Kiapara and Helensville.
The company has rostered extra staff to deal with weather-related problems, and the wind and rain is also keeping fire crews busy.
"We are pretty much fully occupied right now," a Fire Service spokesman told 3 News.
"I understand there is a bit of surface flooding out there but it's mostly the wind that is giving us the bother."
Auckland Transport says the weather has caused serious delays around the city, as dozens of roads were closed. Several are now reopening as the weather clears.
Dozens of inbound and outbound regional flights at Auckland Airport have been delayed or cancelled. A flight from Toyko to Auckland has also been diverted to Wellington.
The Fullers ferry service in Auckland has been forced to cancel all its crossings to Rangitoto, as well as several other services to Half Moon Bay.
Ferries to and from Waiheke and Devonport are also experiencing delays, and Northcote Point is closed.
Somerville Intermediate has confirmed to 3 News that 150 of its students are stranded on Motutapu Island and are unable to get back due to their ferry being cancelled.
The group was due to return to Auckland this morning, but are still waiting for SeaLink to reschedule another boat.
WeatherWatch says winds have been reaching speeds of 80km/h, but expects gusts of up to 120km/h in exposed areas.
The More FM building in Ponsonby as had some of its windows blown out.
Most of the damage has come from trees being blown over onto roads, taking out power lines as they fall.
The Fire Service says there have been no reports of trees falling onto houses, but those which have already fallen are causing significant problems.
Most damage has occurred in west Auckland and on the North Shore, but more is expected from other areas as the weather moves across the city.
People were forced to abandon their vehicle on Tamaki Drive (Photo: Gavin Harper)
But, Auckland wasn't the only area affected, with fallen trees causing havoc on State Highway 29 at the bottom of the Kaimai Ranges near Matamata and on SH30 in the King Country settlement of Benneydale.
South of Whitianga, rain and high tides combined to close SH25 and other roads in the region had been affected by minor rockfalls and slips.
WeatherWatch says the winds will increase over the morning but should ease in the afternoon. Northland, Auckland and the Bay of Plenty will experience strong winds, but the Waikato will probably be spared.
Latest road closures and delays:
- Tamaki Dr - in the process of re-opening
- Selwyn to Ngapipi – reopened
- Ngapipi to The Strand - opening before midday
- Selwyn to Averill - open again at around 2pm
- Orakei Rd – open, but there are traffic issues in the area
- Shore Rd - heavily congested
- Manukau Rd at Greenwoods Corner – partially closed due to crash
- Whangaparoa – By Marellen Dr – closed
- Pt Chev and Selwyn Village – partially closed
- Quay St to lower Albert St - closed