Gales, rain spread south

03:05, Apr 17 2014
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
Chris Andrew's garden shed, which didn't quite make it through the storm.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
Chris Andrew's garden shed, which didn't quite make it through the storm.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
A slip on Oriental Bay in Wellington.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
A slip on Oriental Bay in Wellington.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
The storm batters Tamaki Drive in Auckland.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
The storm batters Tamaki Drive in Auckland.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
The storm batters Tamaki Drive in Auckland.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
A slip on Nottingham Street in Wellington.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
A small yacht crashing against the rocks in Auckland's Mechanics Bay.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
The storm batters Tamaki Drive in Auckland.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
The storm batters Tamaki Drive in Auckland.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
The storm batters Tamaki Drive in Auckland.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
Westhaven Drive, under Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
Orewa is battered.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
Orewa is battered.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
A roof makes its way across Whangaparaoa Road.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
A roof makes its way across Whangaparaoa Road.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
Kelly Tarlton’s receives a bit more water than usual.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
Auckland's Mission Bay is a wipe out.
Wild weather, Waihi
A sea wall at Waihi is battered by the surf as Cyclone Ita's tail strikes New Zealand.
Pre-Easter storms batters North Island
New Zealand at 11am, almost completely covered.
Wild weather, Waihi
A truck is overturned by Cyclone Ita's tail.
Wild weather, Waihi
Water laps on to sections in lower Kohimarama Rd, more than 100m from Waitemata Harbour.
Wild weather, Waihi
The sea laps at Tamaki Drive, Kohimarama.
Wild weather, Waihi
The roof seems to have come from this nearby home.
Wild weather, Waihi
A fallen tree in Stanley Bay, Auckland.
Wild weather, Waihi
Flooding on Tamaki Drive.
Wild weather, Waihi
A creek in Picton runs particularly high.
Wild weather, Waihi
A launch washed ashore on Algies Bay, Auckland.
Wild weather, Waihi
A blown over truck north of Whataroa.
Wild weather, Waihi
A boat runs aground in Auckland.
Wild weather, Waihi
A collapsed Burger King sign in Tauranga.
Wild weather, Waihi
Storm damage in Thornton, Whakatane.
Wild weather, Waihi
A fallen tree near Westport's Victoria Square.
Wild weather, Waihi
An escaped trampoline.
Wild weather, Waihi
A roofless home in Greymouth.
Flooding from Cyclone Ita
Flooding on the Hikuai-Whitianga road, Coromandel.
Pre-Easter storm
BIG WET: Wharawhara Road, south of Katikati, during the peak high tide on Thursday.
Pre-Easter storm
BIG WET: Wharawhara Road, south of Katikati, during the peak high tide on Thursday.
Pre-easter storm
BIG WET: Wharawhara Road, south of Katikati, during the peak high tide on Thursday.
Pre-Easter storm
OVER AND OUT: A tree down in Tauranga.
Pre-Easter storm
LIKE DOMINOES: Containers tumbled at the Port of Tauranga.
Easter storm
This trampoline ended up a bit mangled.
weather Hari Hari
A family home in Hari Hari
Flood Western BOP
Flooding in Western Bay of Plenty
Rata Street, Nelson
Rata Street, Nelson
Albie
Entrance to Westport's O'Connor Home - a rest home.
Albie
Trees down on the Esplanade beside the Buller bridge in Westport.
Albie
Massive trees tumbled across the entrance to this Westport home.
Destroyed Greymouth plane hangars
WINGS CLIPPED: A private plane suffered some damage after hangars at Greymouth Airport were destroyed in the storm.
Destroyed Greymouth Airport hangar
BIG CLEAN-UP AHEAD: Private plane hangers at Greymouth Airport were completely destroyed in raging winds on the West Coast.
Mark Bright
The top of Canterbury Street in Lyttelton floods yet again after Cyclone Ita hits the country.
Mark Bright
The Greymouth Municipal Band hall in Blaketown was completely destroyed in yesterday's storm. Band members and their children headed there today to try to salvage instruments.
Mark Bright
The Greymouth Municipal Band hall in Blaketown was completely destroyed in yesterday's storm. Band members and their children headed there today to try to salvage instruments.
Mark Bright
Blaketown resident Richard Rowse, 83, has never seen anything like yesterday's storm in his 64 years in his home.
Storm - Oamaru submerged car rescue
Sergeant Peter Muldrew with the rescued woman in the bucket of a digger driven by farmer Robert Borst.

Police have fears a bridge near Katikati could break with rivers in the Bay of Plenty starting to swell, as a storm system bringing gales and rain is hammering much of the country.

Have you been affected by the wild weather? Send your newstips, photos and video to newstips@stuff.co.nz

The bridge is on Wharawhara Rd, which joins State Highway 2 south of Katikati and is now closed, Sunlive reported.

Rain radar
RAIN RADAR: Wet over much of the north early this morning.

"We are concerned the bridge may break," Western BOP road police acting manager Sergeant Nigel Ramsden said.

"We are also very concerned about the second high tide at 9pm tonight, and there may be further road closures."

Waikato police were also advising against all but essential travel to or around the Coromandel, following the first heavy rains in several months.

Advertisement

Senior Sergeant Pete Van De Wetering said as at 12.45pm a number of popular holiday routes were closed due to a number of slips, fallen trees and flooding.

The road to Tairua and Pauanui, SH25A the Kopu-Hikuai Rd was flooded while SH25, the route between Whangamata and Tairua was also closed.

SH25 between Thames and Coromandel was flooded at Mania while SH25 between Whitianga and Tairua was also closed.

SH25 between Waihi and Whangamata was still open, but extreme caution was advised. 

Another major route, SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi at the Karangahake Gorge, was expected to be closed by 3pm due to flooding.

WEST COAST WALLOPED

In the South Island, the extreme conditions were pushing emergency services to the limit on the West Coast.

Vehicles have blown over, many roofs have lifted off properties and windows have been blown in, plus trees and power lines have been downed.

Westport fire chief Pat O'Dea said at least three properties had lost their roofs this morning in the district.

At the worst-hit property on Wilsons Lead Rd at Cape Foulwind, the farmhouse's roof had blown off into a nearby paddock.

He said high wind made conditions too dangerous for fire officers to fix tarpaulins over the roof.

Instead, they were placing tarps over some of their belongings for temporary protection.

''And the wind is getting stronger if anything,'' O'Dea said.

All its resources, including 18 volunteer fire officers, had been called on to handle wind-related callouts.

West Coast area commander Inspector John Canning said Cobden, near Greymouth, was being badly buffeted by the strong winds, sending debris flying around to coastal township.

The road into Cobden had been closed because of the dangerous conditions.

Power lines had been downed just north of Whataroa, in Westland, also closing State Highway 6, he said.

He believed a large vehicle, possibly a truck, had been blown over near Whataroa and a bus had overturned near Reefton.

MANAWATU

In Manawatu, emergency services are bracing themselves for what could be an afternoon of weather-related damage in the region.

Gusts of up to 140kmh and heavy rain are forecast throughout the day and rivers around the region were beginning to rise.

Power is out in parts of Apiti, Pohangina, Ashhurst and Aokautere due to faults.

The worst of the wind in the region is in Horowhenua where firefighters had to re-secure an air-conditioning unit to a building on Oxford St at 11.40pm, a fire communications spokesman said.

There were also reports of a trampoline blown onto the Main Trunk Line from Plimmer Tce in Shannon.

Firefighters were preparing for more callouts as the worst of the weather moved south, he said.

In Taranaki, flights have been cancelled and reports of damage were coming in as strong winds and rain took hold.

NEAR MISS

Cars on north Auckland's Whangaparaoa Rd had a close call when the roof landed on the busy four-lane arterial route at about 9.30am.

No-one on the road was injured and no vehicles were hit to the surprise of motorists and emergency services.

However, two elderly people in the home where the roof blew off suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital.

To the north of the city, gales have been causing havoc across Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast.

Some residents say it was far worse than Cyclone Lusi on March 15.

Power cuts had affected thousands of homes across the district, including Orewa, Silverdale, Stanmore Bay, Snells Beach, Hatfields Beach, Helensville, Coatesville, Kumeu, Kaipara Flats and Tapora, Lines company Vector said.

Power was also out in Henderson, Massey, Howick, Remuera, Piha, and Whangaparaoa.

TAMAKI DRIVE UNDER WATER

Severe flooding on Auckland's waterfront, described as the worst ever seen, trapped residents this morning.

Waves crashed over the sea wall on Tamaki Dr as the high tide arrived at 8.42am.

"The waves are coming over the wall pretty heavily. We can't leave the house, so we are going to try and work from but the power keeps cutting out," said Jessica Desmond, who lives on the third floor of an apartment on the waterfront road.

"Tamaki Dr is a disaster," Kohimarama resident Zoe Gibbs, 83, who lives one house back from the waterfront, said.

"People who have lived here a long time called me and said they've never seen it so bad".

"It's all around my letterbox, across my lawn and halfway up my drive," she said.

There were delays at Auckland Airport as the storm disrupted flights.

WELLINGTON

High winds and rising seas were causing delays and cancellations for Interislander ferry trips across the Cook Strait.

There would be significant delays and slow crossings throughout the day on all ferries, KiwiRail spokeswoman Helen Corrigan said.

Sailings would likely be cancelled and customers should monitor the Interislander timetable, she said.

Bluebridge communications manager Wendy Pannett said the Straitsman earlier had difficulty berthing because of high winds. 

The Santa Regina was also running a couple of hours late. Bluebridge was not anticipating any cancellations.

Alex Chong of Porirua was on the Straitsman's 3.30am sailing from Wellington to Picton.

He said when the ferry reached Picton, it was unable to berth.

"All the boat did was go round and rounds the islands from 6.30am until 12 o'clock," he said.

 "Three truckies on board said it was the worst sailing they've ever been on, and truckies are on it almost every day."

Bluebridge staff checked on passengers and handed out cups of ice for passengers to put under their tongues to help with seasickness, he said.