Wild weather to ease, but it‘s not over yet

Clockwise, from top left: Wild weather forced the Auckland Harbour Bridge to close, cut off the small town of Ngakawau, created swells at Auckland's Piha beach and brought snow to many places in the South Island, including Buller. Photo: RNZ/SUPPLIED.

Wild weather has caused flooding, road and bridge closures and snow to low levels - and MetService warns it is not over yet.

It was a cold, wet day for much of the country on Monday, with the lower North Island hit by thunderstorms, gales and downpours, while snow fell in low areas in the South Island.

Thunder and heavy rain also rolled through the Bay of Plenty, followed by strong winds.

Power outages and downed trees were reported across the region.

A downed tree in Maungatapu. Photos: Jagmeet Singh.

MetService says while the weather will gradually ease, more wind, snow, rain and thunderstorms are expected.

Some roads were forced to close yesterday due to slips, flooding and fallen trees. In the South Island, snow closed all the major alpine passes - Lewis, Lindis, Haast and Burkes and Arthur's - and SH94 from Te Anau to Milford. Many roads remained closed this evening.

Check Waka Kotahi's website for a full list of closures

About a dozen schools were also forced to shut in Wānaka, Glenorchy, Hawea, Paremata in Wellington and north of Feilding.

The Auckland Harbour Bridge was forced to close three times due to high winds, and reopened in the  afternoon with speed restrictions and lane closures in place.

Waikanae residents cut off from homes

Meanwhile, in Waikanae - locals were cleaning up after two tornadoes struck on Sunday, just a few days after six hit the area, damaging homes.

Wild weather has severely damaged a number of 10 to 15 metre-high trees, forcing Reikorangi Road to close.

The trees damaged power poles and threatened vehicles below.

Around 200 homes in the area have been without power since 8.30pm on Sunday night.

Kāpiti Coast District Council says contractors were working to clear the trees on Monday but had to stop when the wind picked up.

The council says it was looking at options for people who needed to return home overnight because of dependants, but this could involve walking around the road in order to bypass high-risk areas.

It said it was finding out how many residents were affected by the closure and was asking those who are not already home to stay the night with friends or family.

More wild weather expected for Horizons

Horizons Regional Council will be keeping emergency management staff on duty overnight, as more wild weather is expected to lash the area.

The council says river catchments are now very full, and, with similar weather forecast this morning, some rivers may peak again.

It deployed flood barriers at Foxton Beach and at Kowhai Park in Whanganui.

The Moutoa floodgates on the Manawatū river are scheduled to operate at about midnight, while the Makino floodgates will stay closed.

Conditions in Buller expected to ease

A change in the direction of weather patterns over the West Coast may see conditions ease earlier than anticipated.

The northern Buller region has been lashed by waves, high winds and squally rain, with an Emergency Operations Centre set up.

Conditions in Buller are expected to ease earlier than expected. Photo: Supplied / Buller District Emergency Management.

Buller Mayor Jamie Cleine says yesterday morning's swell spewed timber, rocks and plants up to people's door steps.

Cleine says officials were still concerned about a seven metre peak swell forecast last night, especially with water already on people's properties.


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