Winds down trees, cut power

Last updated 05:00 06/10/2012

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Gusty northwesterly winds hit Timaru yesterday bringing down trees and cutting power.

Wind speeds up to 68.3kmh were recorded around the district, with 1000 people losing power and fallen trees blocking roads.

High winds caused a line between Timaru and Pareora to short circuit at 2.15pm. Power was back on at 3.15pm.

Alpine Energy chief executive Andrew Tombs said those affected were mainly south of Timaru.

A tree fell across Craigie Ave about 2pm blocking southbound traffic for several hours.

Sicon staff were called to the scene about 2pm. Contractors had the area cleared about 6pm and the road was reopened.

Timaru experienced a national high of 25 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, which drove the high wind, MetService duty forecaster Philippa Murdoch said.

The region had experienced a Foehn effect - a type of dry, warm wind that occurs in the lee of a mountain range.

Weather conditions are forecast to change today with the possibility of showers and southwesterlies.

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- The Timaru Herald

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