Cyclone Wilma clobbers Northland


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WeatherWatch.co.nz is receiving numerous reports of significant flooding, highways closing, slips, powercuts and even homes flooding as Tropical Cyclone Wilma, still Category 2, pushes into the upper North Island of New Zealand.

The cyclone is tracking just east of the area and winds have increased in the past hour in both Auckland and Northland

Gales are now spreading south as the system moves south east but it certainly appears that major flooding will be the main feature of this storm.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says the worst cyclone to hit New Zealand in 14 years will continue to track south east towards Great Barrier Island, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and East Cape in the coming hours.

Gusty winds are now pushing into eastern Waikato and severe gales are likely before dawn.

The cyclone is now lying east of the Bay of Islands with sustained winds of 100km/h and gusts estimated at around 150km/h near the centre.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says the centre of the storm may be tracking a little further east than predicted yesterday which could mean a lower chance of widespread damaging gales.

Heavy rain continues to fall over Northland but in the past hour the rain has started to show signs of easing in the Far North. 

WeatherWatch.co.nz says the rain will start to ease once the centre of the low passes by, meaning rivers may continue to rise for another hour or two, before peaking around dawn.

Latest rain radar by the New Zealand Government shows rain easing in the Far North this hour which will quickly clear southwards.

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