Strong winds, rain cancel Nelson events

LAURA BASHAM
Last updated 11:56 16/03/2014

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Strong winds have hammered Nelson and with rain pouring down, two major outdoor events have been been cancelled.

Both the Open Day at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary today and the Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon have been cancelled

The tryathlon was to be held at Tahunanui beach this morning but the organisers decided in the interest of participant safety, to cancel the event.

''In considering the latest forecasts and interpretation by local weather experts, cancellation has been deemed necessary,'' an event spokesman said.

The wind level was the determining factor.

''We are disappointed that all our Nelson tryathletes who have been training hard leading up to the weekend, won't get a chance to run through the Weet-Bix arch and receive their medals.''

Participants will receive a full refund.

The organisers of the sanctuary open day also said they had made the hard decision to call off the event.

A severe weather warning is in place with heavy rain expected, Nelson Tasman Emergency Management advises.

The heaviest falls today will be in western parts of Nelson where a further 180mm is expected. Rain in all these areas should ease or clear tonight.

As the low crosses the upper South Island Sunday evening, northwest gales are forecast to affect central New Zealand, and warnings are in place for Marlborough Sounds, Wellington, and Wairarapa south of Masterton.

Gusts could reach 130kmh from this evening to early Monday morning.

The heavy rain is likely to cause slips and surface flooding. The severe northwest gales could make driving hazardous, lift roofs, and bring down trees and powerlines. People are strongly advised to exercise caution, and to stay up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings.

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- The Nelson Mail

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