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Howling winds battering South Island

Strong gales battering the South Island have trapped a car’s occupants, lifted roofs and brought down trees and power lines this morning.

The MetService has issued strong wind warnings for Christchurch, Banks Peninsula, coastal Kaikoura and the Otago Peninsula north to Oamaru.

It said severe southwest gales could gust up to 120km/h in Otago before easing this evening.

On Banks Peninsula, gales could gust up to 140km/h before spreading to coastal Kaikoura this morning and easing tomorrow morning. 

Southern fire communications shift manager Karl Patterson said they had received more than 20 calls this morning.

“It wasn’t too bad overnight but after 6.30am it started kicking off. Akaroa and Lyttelton took a bit of a hammering first thing this morning – it was predominantly roofs lifting or parts of roofs lifting, loose roofing iron, that sort of thing.

“We’ve been to quite a number of calls now in the Christchurch City area, in the south of the city. Once again, roofs lifting, trees down, power lines down. We’ve had a couple of instances where we’ve had power lines down over cars.”

The occupants of one car on Hoon Hay Rd were trapped while they waited for firefighters to remove fallen lines from their car about 9am.

“The people still in the car were uninjured, but they were concerned about getting out. We arrived and it was Telecom cables, so we got them out safely, uninjured.”

Trees had come down on houses in Halswell and Strowan, and over power lines in Sumner.

In Heathcote Valley, a shed roof had blown off and landed on a neighbour’s roof. Roofing iron had also lifted from homes in Hillsborough, Lyttelton, Burwood and Phillipstown.

Firefighters were also called to a house in Cashmere where windows had blown out of a conservatory, and Cass Bay where a sun room had been blown apart.

Around 460 homes around Leeston, Selwyn, Springston South and Brookside are without power.

Power is also out to more than 1500 homes in Diamond Harbour, Governors Bay, Lyttelton, Little River, Port Levy, Rapaki and Redcliffs, with power company Orion hoping to have power restored later this morning.

Strong winds are also expected in the lower North Island today.

The winds should ease tomorrow morning.



Guest on 4/03/2014 4:12am

Still waiting for things to pick up here in Whitby.

It has been threatening most of the day after a beautiful sunriase, we’ve had a few spots of rain and the wind has been – well a gentle breeze all day.

Bring it on.

LM on 3/03/2014 11:37pm

I think the heading should read ‘howling winds battering the East Coast of the SI’ 

Guest on 3/03/2014 10:44pm

Hi could you please tell me what we could expect in culverden hearing how bad it is in chch usually we are hit pretty are with wind but other than being cold we have no wind will we get the stom chch is having and how much rain are we looking out over next couple of days thanks 🙂

WW Forecast Team on 3/03/2014 11:41pm

Hi there

Rain should ramp up about Culverden later this afternoon or evening and become heavy at times. Rain gradually eases during Wednesday then clears around midnight.

As for wind you won’t get it as bad as Christchurch is getting, none the less strong southwesterlies should be expected today, easing a little tomorrow and dying out overnight on Wednesday. Coastal areas will be the places getting hit hard by the wind.


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