Predicted heavy rain has hit the South today after winds and
heavy downpours caused property damage and travel chaos in
many areas of the country yesterday and overnight.
Flooding caused the closure of State Highway 1 between Maheno
and Oamaru for much of the day. The road has reopened but
motorists are urged to take care when using it.
MetService advises that it has lifted the severe weather
warning it had in place for Dunedin, North Otago and
Canterbury and that rain in these areas is easing.
ORC flood managers say many Otago rivers remain high after
persistent heavy rain and are likely to stay high for the
next few days.
ODT reader Stefanie Kalmakoff said her husband, Bob Woodman,
was waiting the weather out at Dunback, where he had had
115mm in his rain gauge in the last 24 hours.
MetService duty forecaster Richard Finie said while most
residents could look forward to better weather tomorrow,
miserable conditions would hang around for most of today.
"Essentially, the heavy rain in the east from Canterbury down
to Dunedin is easing from the north, this afternoon through
to this evening."
The weather affected some flights at Christchurch Airport,
with departures to Dunedin, Hokitika and Blenheim cancelled
The wild weather left its mark on the West Coast.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said 60 houses had roofs
blown off in the wind yesterday and large rainfall was
forecast for tomorrow.
"We are in full recovery mode racing against time against the
weather. We've got an aircraft hangar with planes in it that
has been totally demolished and a hall in Greymouth that has
been totally demolished.
"Luckily the CBD area is not badly affected so it's business
as usual but the damage to the residential parts of Greymouth
is certainly large."
Fire Service southern communications shift manager Andrew
Norris said teams were working to secure properties, before
the next predicted deluge tomorrow.
Most of our damage was from Greymouth up to Granity, north of
Westport, he said.
"We are assisting people to check their roofs and to make
everything watertight - damaged roofs and things like that
from the wind - because there's more heavy rain expected
In Nelson, emergency services and workers are in "clean up
mode" following damage from the extreme weather, the local
Civil Defence said and Emergency Management (CDEM) group
Part of the roof from Nelson Hospital has been blown off, and
authorities have closed Waimea Rd as they deal with the
"Emergency services and contractors have spent the night, and
will spend most of today clearing roads, of fallen trees and
assisting in clean up.
"There is still a need to be vigilant as more rain is
predicted, with the Golden Bay area already receiving the
second round of forecasted rainfall," CDEM said.
River levels in the region, particularly the Anatoki,
Waingaro and the Aorere were rising, with road closures
predicted at the Waitapu splash and Kotinga bridge around
midday with the high tide.
Drivers in the region should take extreme care, with some
roads down to one lane in places.
Nelson Hospital duty manager and incident controller, Hilary
Exton, said a ''significant of the roof had come away and was
hanging down the side of the building'' this morning.
While emergency services were called, patients were removed
from any areas at risk and the area below the unsecure
roofing had been cleared.
"We moved all patients from ICU through to the recovery area
into a safe place.
"The ICU now is closed until we get the all clear to go back
"We've also had a couple of areas on one ward that was close
to the area that was affected and we closed a couple of those
bed areas," Mrs Exton said.
All patients were stable and supported, and hospital services
had not been affected.
It was not yet known when the broken part of the roof would
be fixed, with work to secure the overhang occurring this
afternoon, she said.
Further south, sodden Christchurch residents were also
Sixty five millimetres of rain fell across the city
overnight, and 180 millimetres in Akaroa. All river levels
were running high this morning, the Christchurch City Council
While the Heathcote River has flooded, the Avon River and
Styx River had not.
Mr Norris said firefighters had been responding to "normal
weather-related jobs", such as flooding and felled trees.
In the North Island, those around the Bay of Plenty were
facing rolling thunderstorms and heavy rain.
Easter unplugged: Power outages hit thousands
Around 10,000 people were without power due to the wild
weather this morning.
In Christchurch, Orion NZ said 3,181 customers were off the
The West Coast had an estimated 1000 customers without power,
500 south of Hari Hari and around the same number in the
Chief executive for West Power Rob Caldwell said crews were
hoping to restore power to most people, however some some
customers would probably have to spend tonight in the dark.
In Auckland, Vector lines crews had recently restored power
to about 1000 people in Helensville.
However, about1300 customers in Kaipara, Puhoi, Kawau Island
and Takatu as well as about 1000 Northlanders were still
A spokesperson for Top Energy said most of its customers were
expected to have power by the end of the day.
In Rotorua, Unison Power had about 1500 customers affected.
It hoped to have but hoped to 800 customers around Lake
Tarawera reconnected this afternoon.
Hawke's Bay had pockets of people without power, most in
rural areas due to trees falling on lines.
Some regional flights have been affected by the weather.
Holidaymakers concerned about their flights should check with