Clean-up begins after storm

The sodden South Island is mopping up after a damaging storm caused flooding and slips across the island.

Many residents around Christchurch spent today surveying damage from flooding, yet again.

Pigeon Bay resident Pam Richardson, chair of the Akaroa-Wairewa community board, said the area had received a "real hammering"with the weather this year.

"It's obviously been a very miserable time for them.

"All around the place we've had considerable amounts of rain."

Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula were hit hard. A large slip on Canterbury Street in Lyttelton had caused damage to the area.

Greymouth suffered significant damage after winds of 140km/h tore through the district with more bad weather expected.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said 60 houses had roofs blown off in the wind overnight on Thursday and more rain was forecast 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," he said.

Mr Kokshoorn said the district would not be declaring a state of emergency because there was no threat of loss of life.

More than 100mm of rain is forecast in Greymouth tomorrow and firefighters and the public were racing to secure tarpaulins on houses.

"We'll get there. We've had to learn to be resilient, and this is one more time we'll all just whip together to get us up and running again."

On Thursday night 28 people sheltered in an emergency evacuation centre at the Greymouth Baptist Church, and Mr Kokshoorn said he expected more people to be staying in the centre tonight.

Nelson police attended 660 weather-related events before 8am yesterday, including roofs torn from houses and trees blown down.

"We certainly got hit by the brunt of it," Area Commander for Nelson Bays, Inspector Steve Greally said.

Blenheim and Kaikoura police attended 17 slips between the two towns, and were still clearing them at 4pm today.

Neither area had any injuries reported from the storm.

Tasman District rivers had been monitored all day and the Baton River, on the west bank of the Motueka Valley, reached its largest flood level on record - estimated to be close to a 50-year flood level.

Several communities in Golden Bay were cut off after slips closed roads.

An extreme gust of wind ripped roofing off Nelson Hospital's George Manson building.

Patients and staff from the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) were forced to relocate from the adjacent building, after the dangling piece of metal was assessed as a safety risk.

Nelson Hospital spokeswoman Katherine Rock said workers removed the metal safely this afternoon, after the area was secured.

Staff and patients were then moved back into the ICU.

Hospital services were not affected by the temporary relocation, Ms Rock said.

- Sophie Ryan and Teuila Fuatai of APNZ

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