Power out for thousands in region

10:18, Jun 20 2013
Central Wellington
An overturned parking ticket machine shelter on Victoria St in central Wellington.
Central Wellington
Torrential rain affects Wellington commuters as they head home.
Pharazyn St, Lower Hutt
Firefighters tend to a tree down in Pharazyn St, Lower Hutt.
Victoria St
Trees broken by the storm on Victoria St in central Wellington.
Victoria St 2
Damage to a parking ticket machine shelter on Victoria St.
Boulcott St
A tree which blew over at the back of a student accommodation building on Boulcott St, narrowly missing a car.
Boulcott St 2
A tree which blew over at the back of a student accommodation building on Boulcott St, narrowly missing a car.
Countdown
Damage to Countdown in Johnsonville.
 Middleton Rd, Churton Park
A ute lies smashed by a falling tree.
A tree lies fallen across Fox St at the intersection with Awarua Rd, Ngaio.
A tree lies fallen across Fox St at the intersection with Awarua Rd, Ngaio.
Wellington storm
The storm-ravaged Esplanade on Wellington's south coast.
Wellington storm
South coast resident Karen Brodie with a fish she found washed up on the Esplanade.
Wellington esplanade
Damage to Wellington south coast's Esplanade.
Wellington esplanade
Storm damage to the Esplanade on Wellington's south coast.
Wellington storm
A Z Mana service station employee with his store's blown-in window this morning.
Wellington storm
Waves crash at the coast at Plimmerton.
Raumati South Memorial Hall
Debris from a ripped-off roof litters the grounds of the Raumati South Memorial Hall.
Raumati South Memorial Hall
A parking booth toppled over at Wellington Stadium.
Raumati South Memorial Hall
Both of Hannah Moore's family's trampolines took a tumble during the storm.
Raumati South Memorial Hall
A shredded sail of a yacht at Mana Marina.
Wellington storm
A toppled tree disturbs a grave at Karori Cemetery.
Wellington storm
A large fallen tree blocks a residential street in Whitby.
Wellington storm
Jeffrey Haina took these photos of a powerline "arcing" out his window in Wellington.
Wellington storm
A falling tree took out a power pole and lines, blocking Warwick St in the Wellington suburb of Wilton.
Wellington storm
Noel Henderson and his dog at the Esplanade on Wellington's south coast.
Wellington storm
Storm damage by the coast at Island Bay.
Wellington storm
Glen Scanlon sent in this photo of his backyard in Hataitai.
Wellington storm
Trees down in Whitby.
Wellington storm
Damage to the Warehouse in Lyall Bay.
Wellington storm
David Morgan sent in this photo of damaged train tracks on the Hutt Valley line.
Wellington storm
A damaged sign in central Wellington.
Wellington storm
A greenhouse in Brooklyn that didn't survive the night.
Wellington storm
A crushed Breaker Bay boatshed.
Wellington storm
A fallen tree on Ellice Street, which thankfully fell between two cars.
Wellington storm
Damage to train tracks near Horokiwi.
Wellington storm
Council workers deal with a fallen tree on Rangiora Ave.
Wellington storm
Inspectors check train tracks near Horokiwi.
Wellington storm
Nicholas Down, who lost his roof in Stokes Valley.
Wellington storm
Storm damage at the Wellington Indoor Sports Centre in Newtown.
Wellington storm
Storm damage in Island Bay.
Wellington storm
The damaged carpark at Ekim Burgers in Lyall Bay.
Wellington storm
A fallen tree in Aro Park.
Wellington storm
Storm damage on Myrtle Crescent.
Wellington storm
Storm debris on Owhiro Bay.
Wellington storm
Storm debris on Owhiro Bay.
Wellington storm
An unlucky car on Mount Victoria.
Wellington storm
The cleanup begins on Breaker Bay.
Wellington storm
A separated door on Breaker Bay.
Wellington storm
Storm damage in Belmont.
Wellington storm
Callum Norrie of Breaker Bay inspects the debris.
Wellington storm
Debris on Owhiro Bay.
Wellington storm
A fish that made it all the way across the road on Owhiro Bay.
Wellington storm
Damage to a bus in Southgate.
Wellington storm
Storm damage in Southgate.
Wellington storm
Severe damage in Lower Hutt.
Wellington storm
A huge Eucalyptus tree in Khandallah Park.
Wellington storm
Debris on Days Bay.
Wellington storm
Damage at Jim and Philippa Reid's Seatoun house.
Wellington storm
A tug boats attempts to tow the Interislander.
Wellington storm
Debris on Petone Beach near the Settlers Museum. Waves went over the wall between the beach and the street.
Wellington storm
A yacht that couldn't stand the wind.
Wellington storm
Sea water made it into Reece Kohatu's Lyall Bay property.
Wellington storm
Storm damage in Korokoro.
Wellington storm
Storm damage in Petone.
Wellington storm
Storm debris in Petone.
Wellington storm
Trees ripped out of the ground in Petone.
Wellington storm
Reece Kohatu looks at the damage done by the waves at his Queens Drive Lyall Bay property.
Wellington storm
A fell tree on Maungaraki Road.
Wellington storm
Lowry Bay, overtaken with waves.
Wellington storm
Seawater hits Eastbourne's Lowry Bay as high tide approaches.
Boats
A boat from Porirua Harbour strikes boat sheds.
Days Bay bach
A seaside Days Bay bach gets pummeled by the sea.
Korokoro
Two massive trees block road access down from Korokoro.
Interisland ferry
The Interislander ferry at anchor in Wellington harbour after its moorings broke in the night.
Kelson
Roofs and trees litter the streets of Kelson, Lower Hutt.
Wellington storm
Residents putting a tarpaulin over a storm-damaged home at Queens Drive, Lyall Bay.
Wellington storm
Contractors start to remove a large tree from an Owhiro Rd home.
Wellington storm
A man picks his way through debris washed up along Port Rd in Seaview.

Power is out to more than 30,000 homes across Wellington and a ferry has broken loose from its moorings as one of the worst storm in decades batters the region.

All flights, ferries and train services in and out of the capital are cancelled tonight.

Limited bus services are running inWellington, Eastbourne and the Hutt Valley tonight and tomorrow morning due to the severe weather.

The Kaitaki ferry in Wellington harbour has broken its moorings, and staff were unable to bring it back into berth. An Interislander spokeswoman said the ship had been anchored in the harbour temporarily.

The ferry broke free from it's moorings in a 90 knot southerly gust, or 160 kilometre an hour winds, the spokeswoman said.

Wellington Electricity spokesman Drew Douglas said the weather had caused extensive damage, with affected areas including Titahi Bay, Trentham, Silverstream, Wingate, Wainuiomata, Miramar and Kingsley Heights.

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The region-wide power outages and the threat of trees falling on rail lines has also forced all Tranz Metro train services across the region to be cancelled for the night.

A KiwiRail spokeswoman said there were serious safety concerns. "It's quite severe weather out there."

About 7pm, a train travelling north on the Johnsonville line struck a tree that had fallen on the tracks near Ngaio Station. It was able to double back to Crofton Downs Station to drop off passengers before returning to Wellington.

Mr Douglas said work was underway to restore the power supply in Wellington, but the amount of work and weather conditions meant there would be some delays.

People were being asked to stay clear of any fallen powerlines and listen to a portable radio for updates.

Power has also been lost at the TSB Arena, which is hosting the Gold business awards.

Dominion Post reporter Sophie Speer, who is attending the event, said there was back-up power and the situation was quite humorous with everyone dressed up in fine clothes.

"It really does feel like the beginning of a bad horror movie."

Transpower, which manages the national power grid, said there were no power outages but there had been a loss in redundancy in the high voltage system.

Chief executive Patrick Strange said while all power supply is being maintained, lines companies would be dealing with trees damaging infrastructure.

"Wellington will be currently experiencing some flickering of lights, caused by transmission lines that feed into the area clashing together due to high winds.

"We have also lost one circuit from service. The winds are extreme in Wellington currently, and we cannot safely have linemen in the hills until the weather eases."A landslide is also partially 

blocking the Ngauranga Gorge.

Inspector Ian Harris, of Police central communications, said the slip was completely blocking one of the three southbound lanes and partially blocking another, just south of the speed camera.

Contractors were sent to clear the slip just after 7pm, he said.

A spokesman for the NZ Transport Agency said fallen trees and debris were also partially blocking the northbound lanes of State Highway 2 between 

Ngauranga and Petone. High winds were sending waves crashing up onto the southbound motorway as well, he said.

"We're advising people to just stay at home if they can and only travel if it's absolutely necessary."

Motorists were also being asked to take Hutt Rd rather than the motorway.

Wellington City Council emergency controller Neville Brown said the emergency centre had not been activated, but he was standing by to do so.

"To be honest we've opened the doors but we have not officially called together the emergency centres at this stage."

But standard emergency services were struggling to deal with the volume of callouts and with the storm forecast to continue throughout the night there was a possibility extra help could be needed, he said.

Police have closed Middleton Rd in Johnsonville after a massive tree was ripped up, crushing a ute. It is unknown if the car was occupied at the time.

The Dominion Post