Wild winds batter Wellington
Winds cancel flights and close roadsMICHELLE COOKE
About 6000 homes in Upper Hutt were left without electricity after high winds caused a power outage.
High winds in the Wellington region have also caused flights to be cancelled, uprooted trees and blown roofs off buildings.
About 6000 homes in Trentham and Brown Owl lost power about midday but by about 3pm all but 700 had been restored.
Wellington Electricity spokesman Hugo Armstrong said the outage may have been caused by power lines clashing due to high winds.
Several flights in and out of the capital have been cancelled, diverted or delayed, forcing passengers to rebook.
One Southgate resident watched as a Jetstar plane made two failed attempts to land before landing safely on the third,
while another Jetstar flight was forced to return to Auckland, a Wellington Airport spokesman said.
State Highway 2 over Rimutaka Hill will be closed until 7am on Sunday due to high winds.
Police described the driving conditions as "extremely dangerous".
Meanwhile, the wind has also forced windows to crash out of buildings, send trampolines flying, uprooted trees and brought telephone lines down.
The wind forced a window at the Amora Hotel to crash onto Wakefield St, while a large sign on Dixon St was uplifted and came smashing down onto a car, breaking its windscreen into pieces.
A trampoline was lifted by the wind and thrown into powerlines in Northland, Wellington, while sheets of corrugated iron have been ripped off Shed 6 on Wellington's waterfront.
The Fire Service has responded to a number of calls relating to uprooted trees and parts of roofs lifting off in Island Bay, Kilbirnie and Wainuiomata, fire central communications shift manager David Meikle said.
The lights at the intersection of John St, Riddiford St and Adelaide Rd in Newtown stopped working, but council staff were tmanually managing the traffic.
Peter Lambrechsten and his wife were surprised to awake to tree which had crashed onto their three daughter's tree hut, causing some minor damage.
The Fire Service responded, because it was a health hazard, and it was now chopped into pieces all over their lawn in Strathmore Park.
Waves were being forced across both lanes on Cobham Dr, near the airport, Lambrechsten said.
"It's definitelty crazy, crazy weather out there."
The strong winds have forced the cancellation of the rugby fanzone ahead of the All Blacks Argentina test at Westpac Stadium tonight.
Heavy rain is also expected for the Tararua Range and the central North Island.
The MetService is expected about 100mm of rain from 10am on Saturday to 10pm on Sunday.
Yesterday, strong winds brought power lines down cutting power to about 350 Paparangi and Newlands customers,
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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