Cyclone Hale: Heavy rain and wind expected for North Island


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is asking people to take care and avoid unnecessary travel from tonight until Wednesday morning, with Cyclone Hale expected to bring heavy rain and severe gales to parts of the North Island.

Acting National Manager Maintenance and Operations, Jaclyn Hankin says heavy rain may cause surface flooding, trigger slips and cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly, requiring Waka Kotahi to close some state highways. 

“Our contractors will be working hard, doing what they can to keep the state highway network safe and open.” 

There is a heavy rain and strong wind warning in place for the Coromandel and Gisborne from 8pm this evening until tomorrow night. There is also a heavy rain warning for Hawkes Bay from Tuesday morning until Wednesday morning. 

Auckland and eastern Northland is also under a heavy rain watch with forecast wind gusts of 75-85km/h which may result in speed reductions and lane closures on the Auckland Harbour Bridge tomorrow and Wednesday.  

Bay of Plenty and Taupō are also under a strong wind watch from Tuesday morning until Wednesday morning. 

Ms Hankin encourages people to avoid unnecessary travel and, if they must travel, to expect the unexpected and remain alert. 

“Drive to the conditions, view the latest weather forecast on the MetService website and check your intended route for hazards or disruptions before setting out using the Waka Kotahi interactive Journey Planner website. 

MetService website(external link)

Journey Planner website(external link)

“Stay alert for unreported hazards, such as surface flooding, slips, fallen trees and branches, and downed powerlines. 

“If you must travel, slow down and maintain a greater following distance between your vehicle and the one in front.”   

People should also be mindful of contractors who could be out clearing hazards off the road, and drive slowly through work sites, Ms Hankin says. 

“We want to see everyone get home safely. Stay safe and stay alert.”