Trees snapped, power cuts possible as Auckland prepares for wind blast

Auckland is preparing for a brutal wind blast on Sunday, which could snap trees and cause power cuts.

Strong winds and heavy rain are being unleashed upon the city this afternoon and evening, and MetService has issued a strong wind warning for Auckland.

There are reports of a power outage in the Auckland suburb of Glenfield after a crash damaged a power pole. Heavy winds make the repair unlikely tonight. 

Vector said in a tweet "crews are working in difficult conditions to assess and repair damage caused by bad weather."

They said it could take some time to provide accurate restoration times for its Auckland customers.

The company's website though has no information about just how widespread the outages are. 

Weather Watch warns gusts over 100km/h are possible, with an average speed just under gale force.

"Peak winds from the north look to be this afternoon between mid-afternoon and early evening, then it turns north-west," head weather analyst Philip Duncan says.

"Most of the gales will be in marine/coastal areas but there is the chance of a few isolated power cuts as well."

And NIWA warns the weather is only going to get worse.

"Winds are going to pick up throughout the day and rain is expected in the afternoon and evening," it says.

Already, strong winds in Auckland on Sunday have claimed their first victim - a large tree in Epsom.

Emergency services were called after the tree snapped near its base at around 11am, blocking King George Ave in both directions. Cars were forced to drive around it on the footpath before the road was cleared.

Vector chief networks officer Andre Botha says Vector is on "high alert" and prepared for any power outages caused by the weather.

"Our response crews and storm management teams are ready to respond and we are actively monitoring the latest advice from WeatherWatch and our own data on network performance," he says.

"As always, our objective is to do this as quickly as while ensuring the safety of our crews and the public."

Botha says if the weather causes any power lines to come down, Vector will remotely shut down power to that area as a public safety precaution until crews arrive on site.

"We remind people to stay away from damaged electrical equipment," he warns.

"All lines should be treated as live at all times. If you see any damaged power equipment or power lines down, please keep a safe distance away and report it to us as soon as possible on 0508 VECTOR."