Hundreds still without power after South Island storm

Images from a storm that hit the South Island on Wednesday night have shown its impressive force.

Thousands of families in rural Canterbury have gone through the night without power, after high winds brought down trees and power lines.

At its peak, more than 6000 homes were affected.

Orion is working to restore power to 420 homes still without power in Prebbleton, Springston and Darfield.

A tree "split in half" in Christchurch, Stuff reports, falling onto a home in the suburb of Bryndwr, and another fell on a car in Bishopdale.

The storm has since subsided.

Local lines company Aurora urged residents of central Otago and Queenstown Lakes to conserve electricity to "lessen the chance of further power outages during the evening peak".

Around 1100 Queenstown and central Otago properties were without power at 10:30pm on Thursday, down from 4500 at its peak in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Images from the storm sent to Newshub show heavy clouds rolling in over Queenstown, Otago and Christchurch as the storm arrived.

A huge cloud rolling on to a field.
The storm arrives. Photo credit: Supplied/Cherie Carson

Meanwhile posts on social media show floods reaching knee height on some people in the Franz Josef area.

Other posts show lasting damage from the storm, with one image showing a toppled tree sitting on top of a fence.

Winds reached up to 105km/h in Otago and above 150km/h in Kaikōura, MetService said.

A severe weather warning for Westland and Otago has now been lifted, although MetService says there is a chance rainfall will reach warning amounts in Fiordland on Saturday.

Newshub.