- Publish Date
- Thursday, 24 March 2016, 7:42AM
The Westland District Council has declared a state of emergency in the Franz Josef and Waiau region after a night of extreme flooding.
The Waiho River burst its banks and almost 200 tourists and locals have been evacuated to the local community hall in Franz Josef.
Flooding has swept through several hotels including the Scenic Hotel where the staff accommodation was under water. The Top 10 Holiday Park campsite on the banks of the Waiho River was swamped by floodwaters.
Westland Civil Defence public information manager Andy Thompson said Red Cross was now travelling to the area to support those stranded by the flooding.
Wild winds battering the upper North Island have left scores of households without power this morning.
Northern Fire shift manager Dallas Ramsay said crews attended more than 70 weather-related callouts throughout Northland and Auckland overnight clearing trees fallen across roads, arcing power lines and securing lifting roofs.
Vector crews are attending nearly two dozen power outages affecting hundreds of households across the Auckland region this morning.
Power has been out in Mt Wellington for nearly two hours, with Vector saying it will be restored by about 9am.
Epsom has also been hit hard with a power outage since around 5am.
The worst affected area in the Auckland region is the North Shore bays.
This morning MetService issued a severe thunderstorm watch across central and eastern New Zealand.
It included Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Gisborne and Taranaki.
The South Island's West Coast and Nelson Marlborough regions had received the worst of the weather overnight.
Severe weather warnings remained in place for the upper South Island, western regions in the lower North Island and the Bay of Plenty.
The rain was expected to ease for most of the country by this afternoon.