House hit by lightning as thunderstorms roll in

A house has been hit by lightning near Palmerston this afternoon as wild weather hits large parts of the South Island.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said it received a call at 1.10pm reporting a lightning strike on Palmerston-Hampden Rd.

The strike had blown fuses and blown power points off the wall.

No one was injured in the strike, he said.

One appliance from Palmerston attended.

Another appliance from Waikouaiti was turned around.

Metservice have issued a raft of weather warnings for the South Island today, with heavy rain, thunderstorms and even snow expected. 

A severe thunderstorm warning is in place for Christchurch City, with lower warnings in place for North Otago south to Waikouaiti. 

Metservice are warning the thunderstorms are likely to be accompanied by heavy rain, large hail and possible tornadoes. 

Very heavy rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous.

Large hail can cause significant damage to crops, orchards, vines, glasshouses and vehicles, and make driving conditions hazardous.

Tornadoes can blow out windows, lift roofs, break large branches off trees, generate dangerous flying debris and blow vehicles off the road.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management advises that as storms approach you should:
- Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows;
- Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside;
- Get back to land, if outdoors on the water;
- Move cars under cover or away from trees;
- Secure any loose objects around your property;
- Check that drains and gutters are clear;
- Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving.
During and after the storm, you should also:
- Beware of fallen trees and power lines;
- Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding.

Meanwhile, snow is currently falling on Milford Rd (SH94), with the road due to close at 5pm. 


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