Wind forces Waimate bus driver off the road

22:59, Jul 30 2014

A South Canterbury school bus driver had to stop his run this morning after strong winds blew his bus off the road.

Waimate driver Bill McKenzie, who picks up pupils and students for Waimate High School and Primary School, said the strong winds caused him to turn around.

"A one lane road bridge I was nearly collected too," McKenzie said.

The wind had now dropped however it was still strong and was glad he had decided not to contiue his run, he said.

"It's better be safe than sorry. You get thrown around in the bus at the best of times."

Power was cut to Waimate at 7.48am because of the wind, but was restored before 8.30am.

However, while strong winds have caused to disruption to Waimate, other areas of South Canterbury appeared to be unaffected.



Strong gusts of wind are expected across South Canterbury until Saturday evening.

MetService meteorologist John Law said strong gusts were expected across inland South Canterbury right up to the foothills until Saturday night.

"Gusts of around 130kmh and even stronger in exposed places," he said.

Law warned drivers should take care when driving, especially in places like the Lindis Pass.

Timaru should expect strong winds on Saturday, he said.

"Definitely some north-westerlies to come through right through to the weekend. The positive is that the temperatures will be warmer."

Law said although not as strong winds predicted for coastal South Canterbury it would still be windy so lock down anything loose.

"It's important to keep an eye on the weather warnings on MetService over the next few days," he said.

Timaru Senior Sergeant Mark Offen said they had dealt with wheelie bins being knocked over during the night and motion sensors on car alarms were set off.

He expected more of the same occurrences while the winds persisted.

The Timaru Herald