Wild winds wreak havoc on Coast

20:31, Jun 04 2013
Westport tree blown over
WILD WEATHER: This large tree was ripped from the ground and sent crashing over a fence in Westport.

Trees and trampolines were reportedly thrown around a seaside West Coast town as gale-force winds cut power and disrupted motorists.

Westport and the northern Buller region was hit by severe gale southeasterlies last night, gusting up to 120kmh in some places.

Strong winds also affected northern Westland, eastern parts of Nelson north of Wakefield and the Marlborough Sounds, but were expected to have eased about dawn today.

MetService said winds of such strength had the potential to damage insecure structures, bring down trees, damage powerlines and make driving hazardous.

Westport photographer Sheree Cargill said the strong winds hit the town about 4pm and were "wreaking havoc right up and down the Coast".

A tree was blown over on Queen St, hitting into a friend's house, she said, and a gum tree that had been at St Canice's School "for a long time" was torn up.

"Trees and trampolines [were] getting thrown everywhere. Lots of trees were down in the Buller Gorge," Cargill said.

Some parts of the town and surrounding areas were also without power for up to two hours, she said.


The Press