Clickable Image

NZ Local News

Lanes on Auckland Harbour Bridge closed, ferries stopped due to high winds

Editor Written by Editor · 2 min read >


Severe winds have brought down trees, halted flights and ferry services and closed lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this afternoon.

A number of power outages have also been reported across Auckland.

Gusts had reached 96 kilometres an hour at the peak and base of the bridge, MetService said.

The high winds in Auckland were expected to continue throughout Saturday afternoon and evening before easing overnight, going into Sunday morning.

The high winds were also affecting other parts of the North Island on Sunday afternoon.

Strong wind watches were issued for Taumarunui, Taupō, Hawke’s Bay, Taihape, Whanganui, Manawatū and Taranaki.

FENZ attend a fallen tree at Auckland's St Lukes Rd as weather worsens throughout the country. Photo / Hayden Woodward
FENZ attend a fallen tree at Auckland’s St Lukes Rd as weather worsens throughout the country. Photo / Hayden Woodward

“High-vehicles and motorcycles should consider using the Western Ring Route (SH18/SH16).”

About 1.30pm, Fire and Emergency New Zealand were clearing tree branches which had been blown across the road on St Lukes Rd, all clear of roadway.

At 1.40pm, a NZTA spokesperson said rthat due to severe wind gusts, lane closures and reduced speed limits awere in place over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

An Auckland Transport spokesperson said that due to high winds, the Northcote Point Wharf stop of the 14:10 Inner Harbour Loop ferry service would be missed.

MetService described the wind as “strong”, with gusts of up to 83km/h across the bridge.

It comes as MetService forecasted most of the country to have miserable weather for the first weekend of February, with temperatures dropping and showers and wind afflicting much of the country.

MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey told the Herald todat was expected to be very windy for much of the North Island.

“There is a strong westerly flow moving over the country, bringing with it showers,” he said.

Strong winds continue to batter Auckland, as warnings remain in place for the Habour Bridge. Photo / Syvlie Whinray
Strong winds continue to batter Auckland, as warnings remain in place for the Habour Bridge. Photo / Syvlie Whinray

A heavy wind watch has been forecast for Taranaki from 10am to 5pm today, with MetService saying westerly winds “may approach severe gale in exposed places”.

Glassey said windy conditions are forecast through the central North Island, especially around Tararua District and central Hawke’s Bay, as well as in Tāmaki Makaurau.

“There is a strong and higher than normal wind anomaly for most of the North Island.”

Glassely drew attention to a low-pressure system crossing the country from the southwest, bringing with it a strong band of rain, showers and possible thunderstorms.

“Lots of places over the North Island and the South Island can expect more showers, but they will ease by the end of the day, turning into more isolated showers,” he said.

The wet weather would arrive earlier in the South Island than the North Island, he said.

Glassely warned New Zealanders should all expect chillier weather today as temperatures will be significantly colder than the balmy highs the country has been experiencing over the past two weeks.

Cars queue to get onto the Auckland Harbour Bridge at the on-ramp. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Cars queue to get onto the Auckland Harbour Bridge at the on-ramp. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

High number of lightning strikes

On Saturday morning, more than 1000 lightning strikes were recorded in two hours, sparking two fires on the West Coast.

MetService said between 5.30am and 7.30am, it observed 1300 lightning strikes over the country.

Most were recorded on the South Island’s West Coast and over the Tasman Sea, a spokesperson said.

Firefighters put out two separate fires in Greymouth that began due to the lightning strikes.

Crews were called to a report of smoke coming from a property shortly before 6am.

The two crews were then called to a commercial building in the town centre, where another lightning strike had ignited a fire.

There were no injuries and both fires have since been put out.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Clickable Image
Clickable Image