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Wild weather hits West Coast

Last updated 19:00 11/11/2012

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A West Coast family was left  shaking with fear when they were caught up in a severe thunderstorm near Staveley earlier today.

Diane Garside was travelling from Timaru to Hokitika with her husband and three children when they hit the ‘‘absolute worst conditions’’ she had ever driven in.

Torrential rain was hammering the car, an inch of hail was covering the road and there was ‘‘lightning all around’’, she said.

The family had to pull over and rescue a woman who had slid off the road and Garside said the storm had ‘‘terrified’’ her three children.

MetService weather forecaster Hordur Thordarson said a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued earlier this afternoon.

One particular thunderstorm had been tracked along the foothills of Canterbury from Mt Somers towards Snowdon, he said.

MetService had seen reports of marble-sized hail and heavy rain. Thordarson predicted the worst of the storm had passed.

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