Winds are picking up in Wellington this evening and heavy
rain is falling in the Nelson ranges as ex-tropical cyclone
Lusi moves down the country.
Gusts of up to 130km/h are expected in Wellington overnight,
and severe weather warnings are in place for gales and heavy
rain in parts of the South Island and lower North Island.
MetService forecaster Elke Louw said winds were picking up in
the capital, with gusts at the airport reaching 60km/h.
Winds was expected to keep increasing this evening, with
gusts of up to 130km/h forecast in exposed places, including
the Rimutaka Hill Rd.
Heavy rain was falling in the Nelson ranges, with some areas
receiving 200mm since this morning.
Reports of high winds were also coming in from south Taranaki
this afternoon, Ms Louw said.
A severe weather warning is in place for severe northwest
gales in Wellington, Wairarapa and the Marlborough Sounds
from 6pm today to 4am tomorrow.
A warning is also in place for heavy rain in Nelson,
Marlborough, Buller, South Canterbury, North Otago and
"Unfortunately the worst is still to come for Wellington,
South Wairarapa and Marlborough Sounds regions," Ms Louw
Ms Louw said Christchurch may receive a further 10mm of rain
before conditions begin to clear tonight.
But the city has missed the worst of the storm, with the
centre of the low passing north of the city.
High winds did cause some power outages, with power cut to
more than 1500 households early this morning, and was
expected to be restored by 6pm.
A further 107 households in the Diamond Harbour area were
also without power.
But mayor Lianne Dalziel said there had been few significant
issues in the city, and the agencies on standby to respond to
flooding would be stood down.
"We would have been ready to respond to heavy rainfall and
flooding, but, thankfully, there has not, so far, been any
need. However they are on standby should anything develop,"
Ms Dalziel said.
In the north, the cleanup was underway today after the storm
brought winds of up to 140km/h at Cape Reinga, and high
swells along the east coast.
Northland's regional harbourmaster reported several boats had
come ashore at Houhora, Mangonui, and Paihia.
State Highway 11 was closed last night as strong winds swept
high tides across a section of the highway between Kawakawa
Strong easterly winds gusting to 120km/h blew a shed through
power lines at Whangarei Heads overnight on Saturday, cutting
power to 2000 homes, a Northpower spokesman said.
A rockfall also blocked part of the Hibiscus Coast Highway at
Waiwera on Saturday morning.
In Auckland, Civil Defence said there had been some minor
flooding incidents and contractors had been working to clear
fallen branches and trees during the night on Saturday and
But concerns 50 homes on northeastern beaches may be
inundated by storm surges was unfounded, as the swell
subsided before high tide, Auckland Civil Defence controller
Clive Manley said. The homeowners were warned but none needed
In Bay of Plenty, motorists are asked to take care today on
state highways 30, 33 and 34 where contractors are removing
trees bought down by strong winds.
Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management group
controller Clinton Naude said the region had suffered minor
stormwater flooding, downed trees and wind damage, but no
The highest rainfall levels were 84mm in Tauranga, with wind
gusts peaking at 90km/h.