Wild weather causes power cuts

Residents are advised to prepare for extended periods without power as today's storm moves across the region.

Heavy rain and high winds have affected power supplies to thousands of homes throughout Golden Bay and also in Stoke and Richmond.

Strong winds around 2pm has felled a number of trees in Nelson.

Waimea Rd has been closed because of a tree down near Motueka St, and trees were also down in Collingwood St, Kawai St, at the bottom of Jenner Rd and the Washington Valley area.

Nick Ward was driving along Main Road Stoke by Bunnings when a big tree at Saxton Field crashed down in strong wind taking out a power line.

''I heard a loud crack, there was a flash and a bang and it came down partly blocking the road.'

High winds in Marsden Valley at around 7.40am brought down a tree over a power line affecting supply to approximately 800 Stoke consumers. Power was restored by mid-morning.  

Winds also brought down a number of trees in Golden Bay. Power cuts were reported in Pohara to Totaranui, Collingwood and the north western bay and also Upper Takaka.  Network Tasman estimates that some 1800 homes have lost power in Golden Bay.

The weather has presented challenges to faults response teams, and extra staff have been moved into Golden Bay.

Around 2pm supply was lost to approximately 1000 residents in Richmond. The cause of this outage is not yet known.  

Network Tasman has advised people to look for and avoid downed power lines and to treat all lines as alive.

The Acheron Road through Molesworth Station has been closed from today ( Thursday 17 April) due to extreme weather conditions.  

The Department of Conservation said heavy rain and wind was causing flooding and hazardous driving conditions in the station, and was forecast to worsen over the Easter weekend.

The road will now remain closed until Labour Weekend. The Wairau Hanmer Springs Hydro Road through Rainbow Station is also closed from today until further notice due to flooding and slips.