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Hundreds of Wellingtonians still without power after storm

Published: 7:53AM Saturday June 22, 2013 Source: ONE News

Hundreds of Wellington homes are still without power following the polar blast.

While the worst of the storm has passed, heavy rain and storm debris have blocked drains.

The council is urging residents to lend a helping hand where it is safe by clearing any storm debris out of drains to allow water to drain away.

Wind gusts of up to 200 km/h were recorded as a very strong and cold southerly flow, which had covered the South Island, moved north.

In the coastal suburb of Island Bay, the surf club has been badly damaged.

"There's a whole lot of other equipment in there that's absolutely stuffed. A lot of our storage equipment's been absolutely smashed, our kayaks are not looking too flash," Island Bay resident Julian Hodge told ONE News.

Linesmen have been working tirelessly to restore power to around 1400 homes.

A resident of Normandale in Lower Hutt, Carmel Bruce, has been without power for almost two days.

"It's been really cold, especially when you can see other people have got power on, it's only just up the hill and you haven't," said Ms Bruce.

Roofers around the region will be working over the weekend dealing with the aftermath of the storm.

"My boss yesterday probably had 70 calls before lunchtime [yesterday], and they still keep coming as well," said roof repairer Nick Lunn.

Junior Saturday morning soccer and rugby have been cancelled. But windsurfers are in their element and making the most of the weather conditions.

Desert Road

Further north, motorists in the central North Island are being urged to take extra care, with more snow showers expected overnight.

Some high country hill passes remain closed while the main road north over the Desert Road opened early this morning.

MetService says brief snow is expected in the region tonight, then clearing early tomorrow morning. From midnight tonight until 6am expect 2 to 6cm to accumulate above 800 metres on top of what has already fallen.

Authorities warn drivers that there is poor visibility in the area and the wet roads could turn icy in the morning.