Wind havoc in Wellington region

TOM HUNT
Last updated 07:09 26/05/2014
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LUKE APPLEBY

OVERFLOWING: Gale-force wind drives huge swells up and over Cobham Drive near Wellington Airport on Sunday.

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PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ
CHILLY DRIVE: A light coating of snow on the Desert Road on Monday morning.

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Powerlines were downed and roofing iron lifted as gusts hit 148kmh in Wellington overnight.

The Fire Service attended about 60 weather-related callouts overnight from Wairarapa, to Wellington, to Kapiti, central communications shift manager Mike Wanoa said.

Most of them were for powerlines that had blown down or roofing iron lifting.

MetService recorded the peak wind gust in Wellington in the 24 hours till 6am today at 148km at the top of Mt Kaukau.

In the same period, Kelburn had a gust of 130kmh, Wellington Airport gusted at 104kmh, and Paraparaumu gusted to 106kmh.

Over the weekend, Powerco lost power to 4500 properties.

By last night, all but 130 - in Wairarapa and Tararua - had power restored.

But high winds last night meant there were now 2200 without power.

Powerco acting network operations manager Dean Stevenson said downed trees were responsible for a significant proportion of the power cuts over the weekend.

''The majority of these problems could be avoided if tree owners had called in the professionals to clear their trees from lines.''

Wellington Electricity had about 2000 customers without power overnight. Five crews worked through the night to restore them and by 9.30am today there was just ''a handful'' left, a spokesman said.

People should call their retailer, not Wellington Electricity, if they lost power. 

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- The Dominion Post

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