The wild weather has caused cancellations at the World Busker's Festival in Hagley Park today and cut power to around 300 homes.
Festival director Glen Pickering says the wind is a threat to the performers and has brought down some of the festival's infrastructure. However, the show must go on and tonight's performances will be business as usual.
Orion estimates power to come back on around 1:30pm today. Residents in the Lincoln and Springston areas are mostly affected.
Southern Fire Communications shift manager Andrew Norris says crews have had about 10 call outs already to deal with trees and power lines causing the outages.
Police have issued warnings to motorists to take extreme care through Rakaia and for anyone heading towards the West Coast.
Dust may also cause problems for traffic particularly in rebuild areas.
MetService has predicted strong gusty norwesterly winds turning into a southerly. Despite the wind, the temperature is sitting above 20degC, expected to drop to 11degC tonight.