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Gales cause damage in lower South Island, gusty winds elsewhere

Damaging gales have blasted coastal Otago and Southland while blustery winds have been experienced in almost every other region overnight.

Early yesterday evening winds were gusting to 115km/h in Invercargill but as they started to ease there they were increasing further east and north east, with gales moving into Gore and Dunedin says

An overturned truck, fallen trees and power lines blocking roads were just some of the havoc caused by strong winds in Otago and Southland yesterday.

The high winds forced the cancellation of the motorcycle beach racing event at Oreti Beach yesterday, part of Invercargill’s big Burt Munro Challenge events.

The Fire Service reported a truck driver escaped unharmed when his truck blew over in Wyndham at the intersection of Leonard Rd and Wyndham Letter Box Rd about 3.30pm bringing down some power lines, but further detail was not available.

Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes, of Invercargill, said the winds meant much “greenery” was blowing about on roads.

About 2pm police were surprised to see a car door blow down the road past the station.

They had been able to retrieve it and find its owner.

Despite the large numbers of motorcyclists in the city for the weekend, police did not have any concerns about their riding behaviour in the conditions.

Snr Sgt Raynes said there were few motorcyclists to be seen on the roads.

Those there were going “pretty slowly”.

There were several reports of fallen trees, including one at Park Rd in Milton in the early evening which fell on power lines and a boat.

Earlier in the day, fallen trees caused the temporary closure of the northbound lane of State Highway 1 north of Waitati about 2pm.

Incidents involving power lines included a leaning power pole in Reid Rd, South Dunedin, early yesterday evening and a tarpaulin wrapped around power lines in the Seddon St-Totara St area of Ravensbourne.

A fallen tree also blocked State Highway 1 by Bank St, in North Dunedin about 7.45pm.

Drivers of campervans, caravans and other high-sided vehicles were also warned to take particular care on SH1 between Milton and Gore, State Highway 87 Kyeburn to Middlemarch and State Highway 8, Raes Junction to Milton.

MetService also issues wind warnings for Coromandel and Bay of Plenty this morning and were predicting winds would ease by around mid morning.

In Auckland says blustery conditions would’ve kept some people awake overnight with the winds more of a gusty nature rather than a solid wind.

But despite the stormy weather in some regions the weather is still good enough for people across the country to get out and vote today. says the strong winds will continue to ease right across New Zealand as the day goes on with Aucklanders finally seeing an end to the week-long winds tonight.  Sunday looks significantly calmer.

– Homepaeg image / A windy day, Rose Taylor

– and the Otago Daily Times


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