16 Jan 2010

Strong winds and rain buffet wellington all day

9:59 pm on 16 January 2010

Strong winds and rain buffeted Wellington all day Saturday as a southerly front moved across the capital, with MetService recording gusts of more than 130 km/h.

The gale-force winds blew down trees across roads and broke power lines, sparking several emergency responses. The Fire Service said it had dozens of calls for help with wind damage.

The police said on Saturday evening that the Paekakariki Hill road would remain closed overnight, after a landslide brought down a large tree and other debris.

They said contractors clearing up decided to keep the road sealed off until the morning, as other trees also looked to be unstable.

Heavy rain warnings were lifted for the hills and ranges of Wairarapa, the eastern hills of Wellington and the ranges of Hawke's Bay north of Napier.