Havoc as weather bomb hits in South

weather bomb has hit Otago bringing high winds, heavy rain and leaving a trail of damage in its wake.

The southerly front resulted in winds of up to 135kmh in Otago this morning, bringing down trees and branches across the region, including in Roxburgh and North Otago.

A line came down in Outram, electrifying a fence, setting hay bales on fire and damaging a shed. Power has now been restored to the Outram, Maugatua, Momona and Otakia areas.

Power has been restored to all but 87 customers in the Smith Street, Roslyn and Highgate areas. Power is out to 103 customers in the Dalmore, Northeast Valley and Gardens areas.

In Central Otago, power has been restored to most. It is likely that power will remain out overnight to 14 customers in the Island Block, Millers Flat and Raes Junction areas.

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said the winds were definitely above the threshold where they could cause damage.

The southerly front, which a severe weather warning was in place for, was also bringing heavy rain, Mr Adams said, but this would begin to ease in the afternoon.

The strongest winds gusts in Otago, of 135kmh, were in Nugget Point, but potentially damaging gusts were hitting the rest of the region, with 113kmh gusts at Swampy Summit, near Dunedin, and 96km/h gusts at Dunedin Airport.

A police spokeswoman said thay had not been called to any weather-related events.

A fallen tree is cleared off the road south of Roxburgh. Photo: Jono Edwards
A fallen tree is cleared off the road south of Roxburgh. Photo: Jono Edwards
In North Otago, gusts of 130kmh were hitting Moeraki, while in Central Otago Alexandra was experiencing gusts of up to 81kmh and Roxburgh 96kmh.

The Routeburn Kinloch Rd is flooded at Kowhai Bush, about 2km south of the Routeburn Shelter road, and is passable only for high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles with experienced drivers.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council warned that drivers needed to take care on the Glenorchy Paradise Road, which was flooded at Cassels Creek.

A slip had been reported on the Skippers Rd at Bells Hill, and drivers should exercise caution.

Queenstown Airport reported it was experiencing strong winds, but departing flights had not been affected so far.

However, weather-related disruption throughout the country could affect incoming flights.

Much of central New Zealand copped a battering from wind and rain this morning, with severe and possibly damaging gales gusting up to 160kmh forecast for Wairarapa, Wellington, Marlborough and Canterbury north of Ashburton.

MetService said a watch for heavy rain continued over Southland, Clutha and Dunedin until early this afternoon.

This campervan was blown over on State Highway 1 travelling south at the turn-off to Moeraki. Photo: Hamish MacLean
This campervan was blown over on State Highway 1 travelling south at the turn-off to Moeraki. Photo: Hamish MacLean

 - Additional reporting by NZME

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