Highway remains closed after roof collapse brings down lines

A main road remains closed on Wednesday after high winds caused a roof to partially collapse on a building in Bluff, bringing down powerlines.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) spokesperson said crews responded to the partial collapse of a building in Gore St, Bluff about 5.30pm on Tuesday. 

Two crews and appliances from the Bluff Volunteer Fire Brigade and one from Kingswell Station in Invercargill attended.

About 10 percent of the roof appeared to have collapsed and nearby powerlines were affected.

Initial reports suggested someone might have been in the building but all persons were subsequently accounted for.

Fenz worked with the power company to make the scene safe so crews could deal with loose roofing iron, which posed a hazard due to windy conditions.

The downed lines caused a major power outage in Bluff that was not expected to be fixed until at least 10pm, a spokesperson at lines company PowerNet said.

Occupants of neighbouring properties were advised to stay indoors until that had been completed. Fire crews had left the scene by 7.30pm on Tuesday.

The NZ Transport Agency has put out a notification saying State Highway 1, between the intersections of Liffey and Slaney Sts was closed due to a collapsed building and downed powerlines.

An alternative route was in place until further notice.

MetService forecaster Gerard Bellam said the building was old, meaning it didn't take extreme wind for the roof to partially collapse. The winds did not quite reach "gale status", he said, but did hit 80km/h.

Aalthough the winds in Bluff were past their peak, strong southwesterlies would continue overnight on Tuesday.

- additional reporting NZ Herald



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