MetService national weather: June 13th – 15th.
Thousands of properties in the North Island have been hit by power outages this evening as severe weather continues to batter the country.
PowerCo listed 14 power outages today, almost all in the lower parts of the North Island.
The most recent outage affects 109 properties and occurred in Palmerston North just before 6pm tonight as a result of strong wind.
In Halcombe 404 more homes have been hit by an outage, which came at 5.49pm and was also caused by strong wind.
Just five minutes earlier wind also caused the power to go out in 680 properties in the town of Ashurst.
Powerco, which runs the area’s electricity network, said crews have been working throughout the day to reconnect customers.
The organisation said gale-force winds have blown vegetation into lines and lightning has struck electrical equipment, cutting power to thousands.
Powerco Head of Network Operations Caz Haydon said extra crews were called in this morning but the high winds have made it challenging to repair the damaged lines.
“When winds are this high, crews are unable to work at height using elevated work platforms and ladders. This can delay restoring power.”
In one of the largest outages, 1400 customers in and around Feilding and Kimbolton lost power for 30 minutes at 3.50am today after vegetation was blown into a 33kV power line.
Meanwhile, a lightning strike in Waihi saw a tree fall on a power line on Montrose Rd, cutting power to 808 customers just before midday. Just over half of those customers had supply restored by 1pm, with crews working into this evening to restore supply to the remaining customers, the organisation said.
In the event of an emergency such as power lines coming down, Powerco urges people to stay well clear of lines as they may be live and call its 24/7 emergency line on 0800 27 27 27.
Outages have also been reported in Waitakere, Auckland.
This comes as the country continues to battle wild weather and down South, residents in parts of Northern Buller are being encouraged to evacuate as severe weather continues to lash the area.
Metservice has issued severe weather watches and warnings for heavy winds and swells for Buller. This comes after significant flooding has already hit some areas.
Parts of Granity have already been affected by strong sea surges, causing State Highway 67 to close temporarily due to debris on the road, and moderate flooding to some coastal houses this morning.
Earlier today high winds forced the closure of the Auckland Harbour Bridge four times as wild winds gusting over 100km/h lashed Auckland.
Long traffic queues formed on either side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said the weather station on the Harbour Bridge recorded wind gusts of up to 104km/h at lunchtime.
MetService’s Waterview weather station near the interchange of State Highway 16 and 20 also recorded wind speeds around 104km/h while the weather station at Ardmore Airport recorded speeds around 105km/h.
Power cuts have also been reported today in Waiiti, New Plymouth, Feilding, Bulls, Wainuioru, Carterton, Waverley, Waihi, Tarata, Wanganui and Urenui.
Vector has been approached for comment.