Press release from Central Hawke’s Bay District Council

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Central Hawke’s Bay District Council declared a state of local emergency this morning at 7.30am in response to the severe effects of flooding to its coastal communities.

The immediate concern is for welfare of those isolated at the coast. Civil Defence staff located in Waipawa are coordinating the local response with support from regional and national civil defence agencies.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

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All warnings now lifted

Atu: Too close for comfort + latest maps and stats

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Severe tropical cyclone, the fifth named storm to enter New Zealand waters this summer, is going to track very near to the North Island - but not near enough to cause problems predicts

The cyclone, which today reached Category 4 status, is on a path that will see it track close to the North Island's east coast.

VIDEO: Severe Cyclone Atu's track towards NZ

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Head weather analyst Philip Duncan talks about the tropical cyclone Atu, it's current status and just how close it will come to New Zealand.

Also, which beaches will be worse affected by Atu's swells?

View the video below...

So, when's the next cyclone?

"It's highly likely we haven't seen the end of the tropical storms and this years cyclone season may last longer than April" -

LATEST: Cyclone Yasi weakens further (+Maps)

#YASI -- Cyclone Yasi has been downgraded further to a category 2 tropical cyclone, reduced from the category 5 it reached last night.

However says the winds are still destructive - and despite the wind easing the rain will not, with torrential rain continuing to fall across much of Queensland.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology says Yasi will continue to weaken as it moves in a west-southwesterly direction towards the Georgetown area during the morning.

As of 10am NZT winds were gusting to 155km/h, down from 205km/h at 8am and down from 295km/h at 3am.

Full details below...

What will conditions be like where the Eye makes landfall?

Filed in: reader "Nicola" asked this question tonight.  "Watching Sky News and reading your updates, there's often talk about the storm hitting at a particular time, yet obviously there's already some pretty stormy weather. When you weather people talk about the storm hitting, what part of the storm are you meaning?

Storm damage - Your eyewitness reports

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Reports of slips, flooding and road closures are now coming in to

To keep everything in easy to read blocks we've set up this page for people to post their eyewitness reports of Flooding, Slips and other Storm Damage.

Please post your comments below with as much detail as possible - and your location too.

WILMA PHOTOS (57): Your storm photos

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Photos are now coming in of the damage left behind from Tropical Cyclone Wilma.

If you have Photos to upload - please Click Here has received dozens of photos of Cyclone Wilma's flooding - they are displayed below.

We're still keen to see more storm photos (please use the link above to easily upload them) however from now on they will be stored in our special Storm Gallery and not below. 

View photos below...

Gales push across NZ as Wilma passes the Chatham Islands

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Gale force winds continue to blow across New Zealand this evening between a large high moving in from the west and departing ex-tropical cyclone Wilma to the east.

Wilma is now joining forces with another low east of the lower South Island, helping push a very strong south westerly flow across both main islands.