powerful storm is continuing to batter the lower and central North
Island, forcing evacuations and virtually cutting off the central
plateau from the south.
rain in Wairarapa has led to flooding in an area of Masterton where a
handful of residents have been evacuated.
is even falling as far north as Rotorua as the storm makes its way up
in Hawke's Bay have been closed, stranding
motorists. Photo: Supplied: Facebook / HB Civil Defence
Emergency Management Group
wild weather has seen southerly gales peak at 167 km/h in Wellington,
and a 10m wave was recorded in Cook Strait. Further south, snowy
conditions are expected to ease by this weekend.
rescue operation was launched this morning after vehicles became
stuck on SH5 between Napier and Taupō.
Defence spokesperson Ian Macdonald said everybody who wanted to leave
their vehicles had been evacuated and been brought back towards
truck drivers have decided to stay with their vehicles, which was not
unusual, he said.
of the stuck truck drivers have hunkered down at the Rangitaiki
of the tavern's owners, Marion Klaus, said there were nine truck
drivers taking shelter at the moment, and they would not be moving
any time soon.
sun was trying to come out, but it's still snowing, there's probably
three or four inches of snow. We're 40ks from Taupō, but further
down it's quite bad."
across the North Island, including the Desert Road, have been closed
by snow. Photo: NZTA
Klaus said they were pretty self sufficient and the power was on, but
they did have a back-up generator.
Macdonald said it was vital motorists did not drive past road
closures as there could be hidden drop-outs and downed power lines,
and insurance was void past a roadblock.
urged all road users to take extra care on the roads due to the
winter conditions and avoid unnecessary travel.
out for thousands
more than 10,000 properties in the lower North Island are without
power after the weather brought down lines.
biggest power cuts are in Manawatu-Whanganui and in towns just north
and Wellington Electricity were both working to get power back, but
their efforts were being hampered by the storm.
spokesperson Phil Marsh said customers could expect to go the day
without power, especially those in rural areas.
got around about 120 staff in the field and we are restoring supply.
Unfortunately we're still in the middle of the storm really.
experiencing new faults. As we repair sections of the lines new
faults are occurring so we've probably increased slightly on this
Marsh said commuters must be careful to avoid downed lines as they
could be hard to see when a tree has fallen.
you get out there and about in the regions look for those lines down.
They could still be live," he said.
you see a tree down, look for lines. They are often easily missed.
These are black wires probably sparking like they do in the movies
but they can still be live so avoid the lines."
in Manawatu has brought down power lines, cutting power to thousands
of homes. Photo: Facebook / Manawatu District Council
handful of residents in Masterton have been evacuated from their
homes after stormwater drains in the area could not cope with the
deluge hitting the Wairarapa.
Civil Defence said there was widespread surface flooding in the
region. It said more rain was expected, but the major rivers in the
valley were unlikely to breach their banks.
and rain batters region
forecaster Tom Adams said this morning that the snow might be the
"poster child" of any winter storm, but it was the wind and
rain making things hazardous at the moment.
gusts of 167 km/h were recorded at Baring Head and 151 km/h in the
Adams told Morning Report one wave over 10m had been
recorded off Baring Head.
would be at the top end of recorded wave heights; swells about 7m
would be typical.
don't think there's any boats of any description out there today."
the Wellington Maritime Unit doing some rough weather work in the
said it would stay windy in the Wellington region during the morning
and only start to ease in the early afternoon.
City Council said its call centre had been kept busy with scores of
calls about trees and branches down on roads, slips and other
storm-related damage, including reports of roofing iron coming loose
on a number of buildings.
incidents were being reported from all parts of the city.
around the south coast were open, but motorists were warned to take
care, in case waves pushed debris ashore.
services on all lines have also been delayed by the weather.
flights in and out of Wellington [ have
been disrupted as
strong winds hit the airport.
waves on Wellington's south coast on Thursday Photo: Twitter
much snow on the skifield
Ruapehu's ski fields are closed because of blizzard conditions, with
at least 50cm of snow expected there.
executive Ross Copland said they were excited by the big snow and
were trying to keep up with snow grooming in difficult conditions so
they were ready to open at the weekend.
he said heavy snow drifts had brought an avalanche risk and staff
were carrying out explosions to lessen the risk.
snow is also falling on Mount Lyford, ahead of the South Island ski
resort's opening on Saturday.
field manager Hamish Simpson said it had been one of the best snow
falls in recent years.
Simpson said there was still a lot of work left to do when the
weather cleared tomorrow, including clearing roads and checking the
he said the final preparations were on track.
snow eases for the weekend
south, MetService said the South Island had seen the biggest snow
dump of the year this week.
and ice has closed several major roads across the island this week,
with Kaikōura cut off last night. Most roads have now reopened,
although Arthur's Pass remains shut.
Adams said this afternoon most heavy snow warnings had been lifted
for the island, and the weather should be better for the weekend.
definitely the best snow dump we've had so far this winter. By the
time we get into Friday, things do start easing for not a bad
weekend, really. But yeah, if you want to get out there and enjoy the
snow now, head south of Christchurch. Things are improving, machines
will be able to get in there and clear the roads, so it's an
Adams said more snowfall was expected near Kaikōura.