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Roads closed, power out around Coromandel as heavy rain causes issues

The latest bout of heavy weather is causing issues across the Coromandel Peninsula, with flooding, power outages, road closures and water plant failures occurring across the region. 

MetService issued a severe weather warning from 6pm on July 20. Heavy rain and gusting winds have continued into July 21, and are expected to ease late in the evening. Over 120mm of rain fell overnight on the peninsula, with another 80mm or more still expected. 

State Highway 25 is currently closed on both sides of the Peninsula between Ruamahunga and Wades Stream south of Whitianga.   

It is still open between Waihī, Whangamatā, Hikuai, Pauanui and Tairua.

The 309 Rd is closed 0.5km and 9km from the Coromandel end due to flooding, flood damage, and a large slip blocking the road. The road is expected to remain closed for most of the day.

Victoria Street in Thames remains closed 800m from the start of the road. An earlier slip has now been cleared, however the ford is still impassable.

Te Kouma Rd is closed just past Sugar Loaf Wharf due to a large tree fall. The road is expected to remain closed for some time.

There may also be other surface flooding and slips in the region. 

Thames Coromandel District Council advised the public to drive carefully due to the increased risk of surface flooding, slips and road closures. The Civil Defence also advised against non-essential travel. 

On the east coast, over 5000 properties in Whitianga and Hahei were without power overnight. Mercury Bay Area School and Whenuakite School remained closed today due to the weather and associated safety concerns. 

Meanwhile, residents in Whitianga, Coromandel Town and Hahei have been asked to avoid discharging water into the wastewater system. Wastewater pump stations at Hahei and south of Whitianga have experienced failures, while the Coromandel Town pump is unable to operate due to flooding at Waiou.

Residents are asked to avoid toilet flushing and running dishwashers, washing machines, and showers until further notice. 

In the Hauraki district, water has also been affected, with a power cut at the water treatment plant earlier today resulting in some brown water making it through to the water supply in the Plains.

Thames Coromandel District Council is also asking residents to call  07 868 0200 or email if they notice any new or increasing cracks on their properties. 

“With more than 4.4 metres of rain so far this year on the Coromandel – more than double the median annual rainfall – land instability is a major concern,” it said. 

By ALICE PARMINTER, Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air