Fresh evacuations in Gisborne as NZ's big wet continues
New Zealand's saturated summer has one last sting in the tail, with residents in Gisborne facing fresh floods after an overnight deluge.
On the last day of a summer that will break records for rainfall, residents of the Gisborne suburb of Mangapapa was ordered to evacuate at 5am on Tuesday.
The city received about 60 millimetres of rain in the eight hours to 8am on Tuesday, on top of already saturated land.
"The rain woke I'm sure everyone up in Gisborne at 3am, it's rain like we've never heard it before," Gisborne mayor Rehette Stoltz told Radio NZ.
"Residents have reported flooding in around 10 streets already ... it's pouring. Absolutely pouring."
There are reports the Matokitoki Stream has burst its banks, running about two metres higher than usual.
Gisborne District Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said about 15 households had been ordered to evacuate and others had chosen to.
"Of the back of Cyclone Gabrielle, we haven't had a break in this weather to be able to remediate everything," she said.
Ms Thatcher Swann said she had never seen it flood in Mangapapa in her 15 years on council.
Climate agency NIWA said more than 100mm of rain has fallen in parts of northern Hawke's Bay and Gisborne in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday.
As at 9am, MetService have heavy rain warnings in place for the Gisborne-Tairawhiti district and the Wairoa region of Hawke's Bay.
The latest rainfall has produced fresh slips and highway closures on the North Island's east coast, cutting off remote communities such as Tokomaru Bay.
Parts of hard-hit Napier was also flooded again overnight from the same weather system, with residents urged to stay off key roads.
After Tuesday, NIWA will publish full records of NZ's monster wet February and summer, saying the rainfall has been historic.
"Much of the North Island has had 2-4x the monthly norm," the agency posted on Twitter.
Two weeks after Cyclone Gabrielle ravaged NZ with the intensity of a Category 2 tropical storm, a new tropical cyclone has formed in Vanuatu.
Judy, currently a Category 2 system, is currently lashing islands in Vanuatu's north and the Solomon Islands' far east, and is due to track south in coming days.
Meteorological models are not predicting Judy will impact New Zealand.