Wild weather hammers the country, cuts radio to Waikato

Commuters are being advised to take care on their way home.
File photo

Commuters are being advised to take care on their way home.

Strong winds in Waikato have mangled a radio tower, cutting the region off from multiple radio stations.

A burst of wild spring weather damaged the transmission tower at Ruru on Tuesday evening, and a number of stations are affected, including Radio Hauraki.

Radio Hauraki has advised listeners they can still tune in to the station at the website iHeartRadio. 

It's not yet known when the tower will be repaired.

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said "strong-ish" winds of around 40 km/h were being recorded in Waikato, gusting up to 50 km/h.

However, being on top of an exposed hill meant the tower was probably being hit by even stronger gusts, Adams said. 

Earlier on Tuesday evening, commuters in Auckland and Dunedin faced rush-hour deluges, as weather fronts bore down on both cities.

Adams said thunder was forecast in both cities, and drivers should take care on their way home.

There were a number of other weather warnings in force around the country, due to a bout of wild springtime weather. 

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"There's been this band of rain moving up the country, and it's now on its way to Auckland," Adams said.

"There will be fairly heavy falls during rush hour traffic, but it's not as bad as what it has been elsewhere."

Adams advised commuters in Auckland to drive to the conditions, as there was a chance of flooding on some roads.

"There's going to be some heavy falls and even some thunderstorms in there," he said. 

Meanwhile, Dunedin was also set for an afternoon drenching, expected to taper off about 6pm.

"There's a southerly working through Dunedin, with possible thunder and lightning.

"The city will get a good dump of rain, but it will be short-lived."

There was a strong wind warning for Hawke's Bay and Taihape in force up to 6pm on Tuesday.

Gisborne could also expect strong winds up to 9pm.

The South Island and Central areas had borne the brunt of a rain band on Monday night and Tuesday morning, Adams said.

A large slip closed Rimutaka Hill Rd, north of Wellington, on Tuesday, but the road has since reopened. 

High winds in the capital on Monday night also forced the closure of Rimutaka Hill Rd, while Wellington flights were disrupted.

 - Stuff

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