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Many around Otago and Southland may have had restless sleeps last night, as winds gusted to hurricane levels.
Otago's highest wind gust overnight was 115kmh at Swampy Summit (Dunedin), and in Southland it reached 240kmh at Mid Dome, between Lumsden and Athol.
MetService meteorologist April Clark said any winds above 118kmh were considered similar to the strength of hurricane winds.
The severe gales were caused by a front moving over the lower South Island from the Tasman Sea.
They were strongest in exposed central parts of Southland and coastal Otago, and caused damage to trees, powerlines and unsecured structures.
She said MetService weather stations also recorded wind gusts up to 107kmh in Gore, 96kmh at Nugget Point, and 91kmh in Invercargill.
The winds have now eased, but Ms Clark recommended residents make the most of the calm conditions because more gales and wind were forecast for the weekend.
"The weather is changeable at this time of year.
"Looking towards the weekend, it does look like a low is headed towards us.''
Mid Dome: 240kmh
Swampy Summit: 115kmh
Nugget Point: 96kmh
Dunedin Airport: 78kmh
Oamaru and Alexandra: 72kmh