Storm conditions caused by a deep low tracking across the Tasman Sea toward New Zealand have caused disruptions in many parts of the country.
Greymouth was first to report disruption when it experienced surface flooding and a small tornado which damaged several buildings yesterday afternoon. The situation there is under control this morning.
Wellington experienced strong winds overnight, with gusts reportedly up to 130 km/h. National Radio reported some instances of roof damage and windows blowing in on its news this morning, but the city appears to be operating normally at this stage.
National Radio lost the use of its powerful 2YA AM transmitter due to a fire this morning and could only be found on its lower power FM frequencies. The 2YA transmitter came back online at about 10:30 a.m.
Approximately half of Auckland is without power after wind brought down an earth conductor at Otahuhu sub-station damaging a 110 kV feed to the city at about 8:30 a.m. Traffic is flowing in the city despite traffic lights being out, but many small businesses who lack an alternative power source have been forced to close. The Fire Service reports it has been busy checking tripped fire alarm systems and rescuing people trapped in elevators. Trans Power advise that the 110 kV feeder which supplies much of the supply to the Auckland CBD is unlikely to be repaired before midday.
Electricity supply has been interrupted for short periods in Hamilton and Hawke’s Bay.
Several South Island centres reported snowfalls overnight and this morning. Christchurch International Airport is closed. Some roads in the Port Hills are closed by snow. Snow and local electricity supply problems are reported in Tekapo, Ashburton and North Canterbury.
Timaru reports snow down to sea level, with many roads closed and electricity supply problems.
The website for Met Service which provides weather forecast information and severe weather notifications has been unavailable for much of the morning. The reason is unclear, but could well be due to overloading.
The low pressure system responsible for the disruptions is expected to cross central New Zealand near the middle of the day, and is expected to bring cold southerly winds and rain in its wake.