Windsurfers headed to Takapuna Beach on Auckland's North
Shore yesterday to take advantage of Lusi's strong winds.
Photo: NZ Herald
Former cyclone Lusi proved to be more of a windbag than a
raging beast - to the delight of beach-bound thrillseekers.
As the broad storm tracked south from the Far North, power
was to cut to thousands of homes, roads were flooded by large
coastal swells and trees toppled by the high winds.
But the anticipated widespread damage did not eventuate as
Lusi was downgraded to a deep depression by landfall on
Lusi is expected to bring her damp gustiness to the lower
North Island and upper South Island today.
Last night, Auckland Council identified 50 properties as
potentially needing evacuation due to the large sea swell.
Auckland Council Civil Defence controller Clive Manley said
high tides on the east coast might cause coastal erosion due
to the swell.
The heavy seas and strong northeasterly conditions drew
hundreds to east coast beaches including Takapuna on
Auckland's North Shore.
Surfers, windsurfers, kitesurfers, kayakers, boogie boarders
and long boarders navigated 3m swells, oblivious to official
warnings to keep clear of the beaches.
Earlier in the afternoon, a sea and air search was mounted
after a boy was reported missing in the water at Takapuna.
Police later said the swimmer made it out of the water safely
and went home, unaware he was the focus of a rescue
Weather forecasters say the worst of former tropical cyclone
Lusi is over for those living in northern regions, though it
is predicted to pack a nasty parting punch as it tracks south
Severe weather warnings are in place for southern parts of
the North Island and the top of the South Island but
conditions are expected to improve during the day in Auckland
and northern areas, according to the MetService.
Meteorologist John Law said Wellington and Wairarapa could
expect severe northwesterly gales of up to 130km/h while
Nelson and Marlborough and parts of Canterbury and Otago
would experience heavy bursts of rain.
Law said it was "an improving story" for Auckland as rainy
conditions were expected to clear throughout the day and the
weather was expected to improve everywhere tomorrow.
Yesterday, the Fire Service responded to approximately 160
incidents in the northern region, mostly for trees on
Firefighters also secured a roof in Orewa that was being
lifted by strong winds.
Law said yesterday's storm brought winds as high as 120km/h
in the Hauraki Gulf.
The strongest gust was 139km/h recorded at Cape Reinga in the
While the rain was patchy, especially throughout Auckland,
parts of the North Island were saturated.
Paeroa recorded 200mm in 24 hours.
The Auckland Harbourmaster said three boats had to be secured
after they broke from their moorings in the heavy conditions.
A 7m swell was recorded at Marsden Pt in Northland and a ship
was also redirected to shelter off the Coromandel Peninsula.
Meteorologist Dan Corbett said: "The old windbag called Lusi
will finally loosen her grip on parts of the country when she
slides east of the South Island during the early hours of