Forty thousand people are still without power in the Auckland
region after a powerful storm left a trail of destruction
across the upper North Island.
One child was taken to hospital with minor injuries after a
tree smashed through a roof in Manly, Whangaparaoa, about
In Blenheim a 12-year-old girl was swept away by floodwaters
on her way to school, saved only by the quick thinking of two
Emergency services in Auckland city attended more than 600
calls after midnight, as the city's streets were littered
Girl swept away in Blenheim
A 12-year-old girl swept away by a flooded Blenheim river
while walking to school this morning was saved by two
Police say a tragedy was averted when a 17-year-old man and
another man leapt to the girl's aid.
The girl was swept away by a raging Taylor River, near High
St, at about 8.45am.
The two men chased her along the river bank and eventually
recovered her from the water near Beaver Rd, police said.
The 12-year-old girl has been taken to hospital in a serious
The teenage rescuer has also been taken to hospital suffering
mild hypothermia. The other man did not require medical
Senior Sergeant Dan Mattison said the quick actions of the
teenage boy and the other man involved in the rescue had
saved the girl's life.
Power still out to tens of thousands
Vector crews have worked throughout the night to attend to
numerous faults after two huge wind blasts up to 145km/h
swept through the city, one at 11pm last night and another at
Forty thousand customers are still without power in the
Auckland region, Vector says.
Most power has now been restored to the 6000 outages in
Auckland south of the Harbour Bridge.
In the northern region up to Warkworth, a further 15,000 have
been restored, with 40,000 still without power.
Vector spokeswoman Sandy Hodge said 30 crews were working on
the northern network, along with seven Treescape crews.
"If you are medically dependent and are without power, then
please contact a family member or friend who has power, or if
none of these options are available please go to your nearest
One of the Vector crews had a lucky escape when a large tree
came down next to their truck, trapping the vehicle.
Power was out too to areas in the Coromandel and south
Powerco Acting Electricity Operations Manager Phil Marsh said
the first of the power cuts occurred around midnight.
"Field crews are working to restore supply as quickly and
safely as possible," Mr Marsh said.He warned that power lines
on the ground must be treated as live at all times.
"Stay away from any downed power lines and call Powerco's
emergency number 0800 272727."
Whangaparaoa resident Dennis Hawnt was woken last night to
find a large tree had crashed through his garage and
Mr Hawnt said he woke just after midnight and found that
power in his Arkles Bay home was off.
"I went outside and saw the tree had fallen on the garage and
the sleepout, but it was good because nobody was in the
building at the time."
A local fire brigade was in the area, and came to assess the
"It's quite lucky that it didn't land in a more inconvenient
place, like on one of the cars or on the house."
Mr Hawnt said he would seek advice from his insurance company
before embarking on the "big job" to remove the tree.
Motorways affected, Harbour Bridge closed
The northwestern motorway off-ramp at Great North Rd, which
was closed earlier because of fallen trees, is now open.
One tree was blown onto the road by high winds last night and
just as contractors had cleared it, a second tree was blown
The Auckland Harbour Bridge had to be closed for a time after
wind gusts made the structure move.
NZTA's Ewart Barnsley says lanes one and two southbound were
closed early this morning because of the trailer of a Toll
Transport truck that rolled just before 3am. It was blocking
"Even though it seems that the worst of the storm may have
passed, we're just asking drivers to take extreme care.
"Driving's going to be a bit of a challenge getting into work
Ewart Barnsley says that means keeping a good following
distance, lights on, and speed down.
Canterbury bears brunt of flooding
In some of the worst flooding yesterday, emergency services
helped evacuate 21 elderly dementia patients from a flooded
North Canterbury rest home.
The residents spent last night in an emergency welfare centre
after a torrential downpour caused a stream behind Bainlea
House to breach its banks.
Civil Defence response teams pumped water from houses in the
area. Residents waded through flooded streets in an attempt
to unblock drains, while children played on inflatable
Flooding closed the Rangiahua bridge on State Highway One at
Horeke in Northland last night.
State Highway 10 near Kaeo in Northland was also affected by
flooding and restricted to one lane.
NZ Transport Agency regional journey manager Jacqui
Hori-Hoult said winds had brought down trees in Northland and
rain had caused flooding.
"With night falling so quickly at this time of year, it is a
case of expecting the unexpected particularly in rural areas
with little street lighting.
"People should drop speeds and increase following distances
to reduce the risk of a crash if a vehicle ahead has to brake
MetService forecaster Leigh Matheson said Northland and
Auckland residents would not get any respite from the weather
until this morning.
"All through that region there will be significant gales ...
it could be hazardous for eastern areas of Auckland," she
"[This] morning everything should be much quieter. The rains
should have eased right off and the winds dropped right out."
MetService says the front will then probably move from
Auckland and Northland, and onto Gisborne and Hawkes Bay for
the next two days. Ms Matheson said the western Bay of Plenty
could get up to 200mm of rain in 48 hours.
In Canterbury, the worst would have passed by today.
"The sun may turn up on Friday. It's a pretty wet week, is
the general theme."
- Additional reporting Newstalk ZB