One freed from debris after tornado rips off roof

One person has been freed from debris after a sizeable roof was ripped from a south Auckland storage unit by what may have been a tornado.

It was the latest weather-related incident in a day which brought heavy rain to Christchurch, Bay of Plenty and the lower North Island.

Emergency services were called about 2.40pm to the Safe Store unit at Papatoetoe after reports that a 40m x 20m roof had been blown off by a tornado.

"As a result of that, one person was trapped in the debris, but I understand they have been freed," Fire Service northern communications centre shift manager Jaron Phillips said.

"When we last contacted the ambulance they hadn't transported anyone to hospital, so they may be uninjured."

Mr Phillips said there was no other reports of damage so any tornado seemed to have been extremely localised.

Earlier, heavy rain from a front passing over the country caused isolated surface flooding on broken Christchurch roads but the quake-damaged sewerage system has so far coped with the influx of storm water.

Civil Defence yesterday warned the rain would put extra pressure on Christchurch's sewerage network and asked residents to step up water conservation efforts to help relieve the strain.

The MetService today said 25mm of rain had fallen at Christchurch Airport in the last 24 hours while Lincoln received 40mm.

Civil Defence infrastructure director Michael Aitken said the rain caused isolated areas of minor surface flooding but there were no major blockages in the storm water network.

"We ask that people please take extreme care when driving and use common sense on roads that have a number of potholes and puddles," he said.

"However we're not aware of any major surface flooding due to blockages in the storm water pipe network and areas that may have potential issues are being continually monitored."

MetService forecaster Oliver Druce said the front had passed over the north of the country but cold southerlies were still expected to bring showers in the next two days.

The weather in Christchurch was clearing this afternoon while a rain warning for the Eastern Bay of Plenty has been lifted.

Bay of Plenty received the most rain overnight, with more than 100mm falling in the ranges, but the lower and central North Island bore the brunt of the rain's damage.

The weather caused minor flooding across the Wellington region, slips in Taumarunui and the Wellington suburb of Seatoun, and a handful of minor crashes.

State Highway 1 was temporarily closed at Hunterville in the Central Plateau after two separate crashes about 12.10pm.

One car hit a bank after which another car took evasive action and collided with another car, police central communications Inspector Mike Coleman said.

Two adults and a child were trapped in one car but there were no serious injuries.

Police were also attending two non-serious crashes in New Plymouth and Palmerston North.

Senior Sergeant Marty Edghill of police central communications said there were about 10 minor weather related crashes in the lower North Island overnight but nobody was hurt.

 

 

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