21 Feb 2018

Gita: Thousands without power, stranded after storm

From Morning Report, 7:12 am on 21 February 2018

Thousands of people are without power and Kaikoura and Collingwood are cut off after the tail of Cyclone Gita lashed the South Island and Taranaki last night. Winds gusting up to 140km/h brought down powerlines, trees, and flipped vehicles on the West Coast and Taranaki.

States of emergency were in place in Christchurch City, including Banks Peninsula, and Selwyn, Buller, Grey and Westland Districts, and Taranaki and Nelson Tasman regions. The road on the Riwaka side of the Takaka Hill has been severely damaged in several places stranding 5000 Golden Bay residents and a thousand tourists. Emergency services will meet about 9am Wednesday to assess the situation.

More than 1000 holiday makers are said to be stranded in Golden Bay, and dairy farmers will have business hampered by damage to the Takaka Hill.

In Christchurch the flood prone Heathcote river had been expected to burst its banks around high tide late on Tuesday night and residents were warned to be ready to evacuate.

But less rain fell than expected and there were no forced evacuations and no reports of homes being flooded there.