New Zealand braced for next bout of flooding rain

Remnants of Cyclone Cook expected to bring torrential rain and damaging winds to the North Island.

    Less than a week after severe floods caused by Cyclone Debbie, residents of the North Island are preparing for the arrival of another storm system, ex-Tropical Cyclone Cook.

    An active frontal system has already brought more than 60mm of rain to the northern half of the South Island. This represents almost one month's worth of rain in a typical April.

    In the coming hours, Cook's remnants will make their presence felt across the North Island. Landfall from this weather system is expected around 02:00 GMT on Thursday. According to the New Zealand Met Service landfall will occur somewhere between the Coromandel Peninsula and the western Bay of Plenty.

    Cook is expected to produce very strong sustained winds with gusts as high as 150 kilometres an hour. Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and central zone as far south as Wellington are all at risk of damaging winds.

    In addition, many parts of the Island will see rainfall totals of up to 180mm, more than double the April average rainfall.

    This comes on top of the heavy rain of last week as a result of Cyclone Debbie’s passage across the Island. More than 100mm of rain fell in some areas. The Rangitaiki River overflowed and the town of Edgecumbe was under two metres of water.

    There are obvious concerns that, with a high water table and swollen rivers, the rainfall from this next system could cause widespread flooding.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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