Clean-up, claims in wake of storm

The remains of a hangar at the Greymouth aerodrome. Photo Greymouth Star
The remains of a hangar at the Greymouth aerodrome. Photo Greymouth Star
Many storm-hit Kiwis will spend today cleaning up after days of destructive weather.

Nelson, the West Coast and Christchurch bore the worst of the weather from ex-tropical cyclone Ita, with slips, power outages and thunderstorms wreaking havoc for locals and holiday-makers.

At least 60 homes had their roofs torn off by gale force winds and in Nelson a part of the hospital roof was also torn away.

While the worst of the weather had passed by last night, a handful of residents were still struggling with weather-related issues overnight.

Southern Fire Communications shift manager Andrew Norris said fire crews attended about 12 weather-related jobs in Christchurch overnight.

Most were minor in nature, and involved dealing with problems from the rain like leaky roofs, he said.

On the West Coast, firefighters spent the night monitoring three properties in Cobden which had sustained roof damage earlier in the storm.

In total, 39 homes and five industrial properties have been classed as uninhabitable due to storm damage. Affected residents were either staying with friends and family, or placed into temporary accommodation through the welfare centre at the Greymouth Baptist Church.

In Christchurch, fire crews helped rescue a group of about 20 campers near the Selwyn River about 11pm, Mr Norris said.

"They were in danger of flood waters rising. They weren't actually in the water, but the flood waters were rising in the area so the fire service assisted in moving them."

Meanwhile, many residents in Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula would have a huge clean up job ahead of them, with slips and flooding causing damage to roads and properties in the area.

The road to Akaroa also remains impassable due to slips.

There are also about 500 people in the city are still without power.

A State Insurance spokeswoman said yesterday the company fielded calls for weather-related damage claims from throughout the country, although most came from the West Coast.

"Most of the damage reports we had were about trees falling on homes but there were garages that were just picked up and thrown away by the wind," she said.

Amelia Macandrew of AA Insurance said it had received dozens of calls for claims yesterday and more were expected.

"Most of it has largely been caused by wind and rain. There's damage to roofs, water getting inside homes, chimneys being damaged by winds, outdoor furniture being blown around and damaging other things and trees falling as well.

"On Thursday it was mainly calls from people in Auckland but now pretty much all of them are coming from the South Island."

MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said the active front which brought severe gales and heavy rain will today drift south away from the country.

He said mainly fine weather with occasional showers can be expected throughout much of the country, although the east coasts of both islands look set to be the driest.

"Places sheltered from the northwest wind like Hawkes Bay and Canterbury, they tend to be a little bit drier as we go to Easter Sunday.

"Showers will be hit and miss but there will be a few wet spells to contend with if you have any outdoor plans."

Mr Corbett said Auckland would be mainly fine today and tomorrow with warmer than average temperatures.

"It will be drier weather. There will also be some showers but it will also be mild with the winds still coming from the north.

"Auckland will still manage temperatures on Saturday and Sunday of 22C and 23C."


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