Wild weather, crazy winds in NZ storms

  • 24/03/2016
(File)
(File)

Flying trampolines, floodings, hotel evacuations, gales and power cuts; just 24 hours of New Zealand weather.

Hotel staff and guests fled their Franz Josef accommodation just 30 minutes before a flooded river broke its banks and sent water rushing through the complex on Wednesday night.

The Waiho River broke its banks, forcing the evacuation of 186 people from a hotel, lodge and campground at the West Coast tourist destination.

A local state of emergency was declared.

Up north, around 18,000 houses and businesses had their power cut in wider Auckland on Thursday morning after winds gusting up to 110km/h brought trees down on powerlines.

In some cases the damage was done by wind-blown trampolines.

But for many crews trying to fix the fault, high winds made it too dangerous to work.

"Each storm has its unique characteristics and this weather event has proven no different. Instead of a few larger outages, this storm has produced smaller, localised outages," Vector spokeswoman Sandy Hodge said.

In Paeroa, powerlines were pulled from a house by a flying trampoline, the Fire Service tweeted.

On the South Island, a small number of homes were evacuated when the Riwaka River flooded - with a Civil Defence centre on standby in Motueka.

Flooding had closed State Highway 60 at Riwaka and also between Upper Takaka and Collingwood in Golden Bay and there were reports of knee-deep water in Motueka's main street.

Forecasters say things may ease up through the day as people head into the long holiday weekend.

The heaviest rain was over the lower North Island and upper South Island and the heavy rain band had already significantly fallen apart, says WeatherWatch.co.nz weather analyst Philip Duncan.

However, the Bay of Plenty could still be hit by some big downpours.

The MetService says the weather should begin to clear on Friday, with a chance of rain in some parts of the North Island before becoming largely fine across the country on Saturday and Sunday.

NZN