3 Aug 2021

Wild weather: Power cuts as strong wind batters Auckland

12:40 pm on 3 August 2021

High-voltage power lines were brought down, trees toppled and train services disrupted as strong winds battered Auckland.

A tree uprooted in Domain Park, Auckland.

A tree uprooted in Domain Park, Auckland, after night of strong wind gusts. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

Fire services were called out to at least 75 weather-related incidents. A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said they were mainly dealing with uprooted trees, power lines down and roofs lifting.

Auckland Transport said multiple power outages and fallen trees caused Auckland-wide public transport disruption.

Southern line trains were this morning operating only between Britomart and Penrose due to overhead line problems at Ōtāhuhu.

Eastern Line Services were terminating at Sylvia Park.

The Onehunga Train Line was suspended due to an overhead line issues near Te Papapa.

Northcote Point ferry services were cancelled until further notice.

A pedestrian in central Auckland after strong winds battered the region.

A pedestrian in central Auckland this morning. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

MetService recorded wind gusts of 110 km/h at the Harbour Bridge. Reduced speed limits were in place across the bridge because of the strong wind gusts and Waka Kotahi warned extra care was needed especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

Power cuts

Two high-voltage power lines have been brought down by strong winds in Auckland.

Power company Vector's website showed early morning power outages in numerous parts of the city, as far north as Helensville and as far south as Whitford with Forrest Hill, Penrose and Howick all affected.

Crews were out trying to restore power, a Vector spokesperson said.

People are being told to stay well away from downed power lines, and call 111 if they see any.

In particular, they are urged to avoid Clemos Lane and Jack Hinton Drive in Albany, where the two high-voltage lines were brought down.

A tall tree toppled in the Domain, while another blocked Walmsley Rd between Mahunga Drive and the SH20 motorway interchange.

And Mt Smart Rd between Inkerman St and Selwyn St is closed because of a fallen tree affecting power lines.

A trampoline was blown over this fence in Pukekohe.

A trampoline was picked up in the strong wind and blown over this fence in Pukekohe. Photo: Supplied

MetService had a strong wind watch in place covering Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier Island and Coromandel Peninsula north of Thames and Taiura, warning of southwest winds approaching severe gale in exposed places, especially around the west of Auckland.

Fire crews also dealt with house fire in New Lynn overnight. Everyone in the home has been accounted for.

A cordon on Rosedale Rd on 3 August 2021 where workers are repairing high-voltage overhead lines damaged in severe wind gusts.

A cordon on Rosedale Rd where workers were repairing high-voltage overhead lines. Photo: NZ / Gill Bonnett

Gales in South Island

Hundreds of homes in Banks Peninsula lost power supply when a tree fell on lines as gale force winds hit the area this morning.

Lines company Orion said the 368 properties around Akaroa that lost power should have supply restored about 1.30pm.

The gale force winds that have been battering parts of Canterbury are expected to start easing this afternoon.

MetService said exposed parts of Banks Peninsula have seen wind gusts above 100km/h this morning.

Meteorologist Tui McInnes said Sugarloaf in the Port Hills recorded gusts of 124km/h and Le Bons Bay near Akaroa had gusts just above 100km/h.

He said the strong winds have also been affecting Lyttelton - but the good news is the bad weather will clear by tonight.

On the roads, strong winds affected SH7 between the Hanmer Springs turnoff in Canterbury and Springs Junction on the West Coast.

Further south in the Mackenzie District, Waka Kotahi said motorists should take extreme care due to snow and ice on SH8 between Fairlie and Tekapo.