6 Oct 2014

Winds wreak havoc in North Island

10:11 pm on 6 October 2014

Gale-force winds caused chaos in many parts of the North Island today.

The weather changes from a northerly to a southerly in Wellington.

The weather changes from a northerly to a southerly in Wellington. Photo: John Law / MetService

A Fire Service spokesperson said it had been called to about 200 weather-related incidents, including loose roofing iron and tiles, and trees down over roads and powerlines.

It said a tree had fallen on to a car in Tauranga, and another fell on to a house and caravan in Kawerau.

About half the callouts came from the central North Island, and winds were strongest on the east coast, from Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula down to Tauranga and inland to Hamilton and Rotorua.

Waikato lines company WEL Networks said power had been restored to about 1500 customers cut off in parts of Huntly and on the outskirts of Hamilton, where trees had come down on power lines.

However, about 11,000 customers remained without power in Manawatu, Wairarapa, Tararua and in the Western Bay of Plenty; at least 6000 of those are unlikely to be reconnected until tomorrow.

Earlier today, the wind cut power to about 2200 customers in Wellington's Ngauranga area.

The wild weather also caused a tree to fall on to a line, blocking early train services from Waikanae to Wellington this morning, and East by West Ferries cancelled its cross-harbour services in Wellington.