Wind lifts roofs, fells trees in Dunedin

Wild winds are keeping emergency services busy about the south this afternoon.

Firefighters are working to stop part of the roof on a Dunedin building, previously damaged by fire, from lifting off in high winds.

St Kilda firefighters were called to a building on Hillside Rd, near King Edward St, after reports of roofing starting to lift in the wind.

The building had previously been damaged by fire, she said.

Firefighters were using a ladder to try to make the building safe. 

North of Dunedin, a caravan has been blown off the highway.  

Police were notified at 2.35pm that a caravan had been blown off State Highway 1, and one lane was blocked, a police spokeswoman said.

There were no reports of injuries, she said. 

Meanwhile, a downed tree blocked Mosgiel's Silver Stream Bridge in Puddle Alley for a time.

Police were contacted just before 1.30pm about reports of a tree that had toppled and was blocking both lanes on the bridge, a police spokeswoman said.

The tree was also leaning against power lines.

The Dunedin City Council were advised and traffic management was in place, she said. 

According to Aurora Energy's website, power was out in Gladstone Rd, North Taieri, Puddle Alley, Silverstream Valley, Fairfield, Abbotsford, Sunnyvale and Wingatui.

An Aurora Energy spokeswoman said severe winds had cut power to several Dunedin customers.

“High winds caused an outage in the Green Island area this afternoon for 40 minutes, with power restored at approximately 2.50pm.

“Our crews are currently working to restore power in Puddle Alley and surrounding areas following a tree hitting the lines earlier today. We expect power to be restored later this evening.

“We urge people to keep safe around electricity and securely fix trampolines, outdoor furniture and other heavy items to the ground.”

MetService has strong wind warnings in place for Otago and Southland, saying west to northwesterly gales could become severe in exposed places at times, with gusts reaching 120kmh.

The forecaster said strong gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. It warned that driving conditions could be dangerous for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

The Port Otago anemometer at Taiaroa Head recorded wind gusts up to 126kmh and an average wind speed of 93kmh at 2pm.

The NZ Transport Agency has wind warnings in place for several southern highways, including SH1 from Gore to Palmerston, SH8 Raes Junction to Milton, and SH83 Omarama to Pukeuri.

The winds have also posed problems on some southern ski fields, forcing the closure for the day of Coronet Peak and Cardrona Alpine Resort.



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