Auckland floods: International flights resume on Sunday, residents forced to stay home, storms ahead
Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders have been warned to stay home in more dangerous weather after terrible floods devastated Auckland.
After torrential rain on Friday, flooding claimed three lives, two in the Wairau Valley and one in Remuera.
Authorities admitted the death toll could soon rise, and New Zealand’s Met Service meteorology center warned that heavier rains are on the way on Sunday.
“Our team is tracking a series of intense thunderstorms east of Auckland,” it tweeted Saturday night.
“We can issue a red thunderstorm warning for localized areas if they are intense.”
Auckland officials have urged residents to stay home and minimize travel in light of Sunday’s forecast.
Photos show hundreds of residents have been displaced across the city, with rain expected to continue through the end of the week (pictured, residents in flood)
Aucklanders have been urged to stay home if they can safely do so as more rain is set to hit the flood-hit city on Sunday (pictured rain radar for Auckland on Saturday night).
Major roads were blocked by the devastating floods, causing lengthy traffic jams on the highways (above)
Widespread flooding in Auckland has killed three people and authorities are warning the number could soon rise (pictured a flooded construction site in Auckland).
“This has been an incredibly challenging 24 hours for our communities and recovery will take time,” says Rachel Kelleher, acting chief of Auckland Emergency Management.
“We want people to protect themselves, keep an eye out for upcoming weather reports and stay home when it’s safe to do so.”
Kelleher also urged people to stay home overnight and avoid unnecessary travel.
Residents across the city were evacuated, with homes and buildings severely damaged.
Auckland recorded its wettest day on Friday with more than 150mm of rain falling in just three hours.
In the sudden flooding, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown declared a state of emergency on Friday night due to the extent of “damage, displacement and disruption” caused by the weather.
Elton John’s concert in the city, for which around 40,000 people were expected, was canceled on Friday due to the flooding.
Major roads were also blocked by the floods, resulting in long traffic jams on the highways.
Wet weather is expected to hang over the city for the remainder of the week, but the heaviest rain is forecast to fall further south.
Three people are dead and several are missing as a record amount of rain, torrential flooding and landslides hit Auckland
Flooding has caused major damage to infrastructure around Auckland (damaged road pictured).
The Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupō were all placed under heavy thunderstorm watch, with localized falls of up to 40mm per hour.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Saturday urged all residents who can safely stay at home to do so.
“The extent of the devastation in some areas is significant,” the prime minister said, reports 1News.
“Our priority is to ensure that Aucklanders are safe, that they are housed and that they have access to the essential services they need.
“The loss of life only underscores the sheer magnitude of this weather event and how quickly it became tragic.”
Mr Hipkins also urged Aucklanders to refrain from “panic buying” as many supermarkets in the city were still open, saying “there is no need”.
Travelers are stranded at Auckland’s international and domestic airports as flood waters rise (pictured Friday night).
A state of emergency was declared in Auckland on Friday over devastating floods fueled by torrential rain (pictured, an emergency worker and local residents wade through the flood in Auckland).
Fire and emergency teams responded to 719 weather-related calls between Friday morning and 7:30 a.m. Saturday, reports Nine News.
These calls include 126 rescue operations for people trapped in cars or homes, 84 “priority one” incidents where people were at high risk, and 237 “priority two” incidents where people were at potential risk.
A total of 2,242 calls were routed to Fire and Emergency Communications Center staff.
Photos and footage online show hundreds of residents in the city have been displaced – although the true number has not yet been determined.
Images show extensive damage to homes, cars and essential infrastructure around Auckland, with people fleeing their submerged homes.
Fortunately, international flights resume on Sunday morning, with departures around 5am and the airport accepting arrivals from 7am.
Both international and domestic airports were suddenly closed Friday night after flood waters inundated check-in areas and terminals.
New Zealand’s Met Service meteorology center said 154mm of rain fell over the airport (above) between 9am and 8pm on Friday – the 12-hour record for the area stands at 161.8mm
Auckland Emergency Management Andrew Clark anyone who does not have a safe place to evacuate or needs help going to the Civil Defense Center that has been set up in Kelston (pictured, residents in flood water)
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Saturday urged all residents to stay safe at home (pictured residents on a flooded street in Auckland).
International flights resume Sunday morning after flooding closed domestic and international airports (pictured, airport on Friday evening).
Domestic flights resumed operations on Saturday.
But the ongoing delay means stranded international travelers face another night trapped in the flooded airport.
“We know this is extremely frustrating, but passenger safety is our top priority,” Auckland Airport tweeted on Saturday afternoon.
Sydney man Mark Andrews, who was due to fly home at 6.15pm on Friday, said about 1,000 displaced passengers had to sleep on the airport floor.
To make matters worse, Mr Andrews said blankets were not distributed until 5am on Saturday as people were unable to walk due to customer regulations on top of the flooding.
“A lot of people were cold,” he told Nine, describing the airport as “Zomebieland.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11686737/Auckland-floods-International-flights-resume-Sunday-residents-stay-home-storms-ahead.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Auckland floods: International flights resume on Sunday, residents forced to stay home, storms ahead