Witnesses recall runaway water tank in Canterbury winds

Witnesses recall runaway water tank in Canterbury winds

Hundreds of Southlanders are still without power tonight after being battered by yesterday's nor-west windstorm.

The power outages struck all over the lower South Island, but it was near Darfield that two men out on a Sunday drive saw something they don't think they'll see again – a bouncing water tank rolling down the road.

Jake Taylor and Quentin Johanson were driving along State Highway 73 in yesterday's screaming winds.

The pair soon realised they had no hope of stopping the rolling juggernaut as it narrowly missed a car and careered across the main road to the West Coast.

Mr Taylor estimated it reached speeds of up to 60km/h.

"It went straight through fences, it smashed about six posts, smashed through two spud boxes – it was gone," says Mr Taylor.

Taylor says the tank travelled about 6km, crossing three roads before coming to a stop in a hedge.

It had come from a saw milling yard on the outskirts of Darfield – its owner, Tony Mitchell, got a text asking if he was missing a water tank.

"It was just a freak wind," says Mr Mitchell. "It has lasted a few winds where it was but this one, once it got picked up on its side away it goes."

This morning the tank was returned to the yard, pretty well unscathed considering where it had been. It has since been tied down to stop any further unscheduled excursions.

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