Effects of ex-Cyclone Gita still being felt with thunderstorms and high winds forecast for central New Zealand




1 NEWS NOW's live developments after the remnants of ex-Cyclone Gita hurtled through parts of the country can new be view here:


Car and properties were damaged in the flooding, with locals left with nothing to do but move their possessions to higher ground.
Source: 1 NEWS
Residents affected by the storm have shared their pictures with TVNZ1’s Breakfast.
Source: Breakfast

Click here for the latest weather forecast. 

The story so far:

- Wellington: SH1 has suffered damage between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki, one lane is open. 
- Nelson/Tasman: The weather looks to die down this morning, but patches of heavy rain are forecast midday. There are closures on the road from Riwaka to Takaka.
- West Coast: There are a number of road closures and power supply isn't guaranteed
- Taranaki: Thousands were without power
- Christchurch: Despite significant rainfall, the council says it got 50 per cent less than expected

1 NEWS meteorologist Dan Corbett has the latest on the wild weather.
Source: Breakfast
Contractors assess the damage to State Highway 1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki after it was damaged by strong swells caused by Cyclone Gita.

Contractors assess the damage to State Highway 1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki after it was damaged by strong swells caused by Cyclone Gita.

Source: Supplied

10.47am The Local State of Emergency to continue in New Plymouth District.

10.40am 1 NEWS political reporter Katie Bradford said Kris Faafoi, the Civil Defence Minister is heading out in a chopper over the worst hit cyclone areas of the South Island this morning.

10.36am NZTA said to expect delays along SH6 Greymouth/ Rapahoe to Westport. 
SH73 is still closed Jacksons to Kumara (Moana Stillwater is detour into Greymouth from Jacksons)
SH6 to Glaciers and Haast now open.

10.25am Kaikoura was hit with heavy rain, closing both the coastal highway and inland route but Mayor Winston Gray said on Wednesday morning the "sun is shining."
He said there was no damage to the township itself.
"We've really dodged a bullet."
Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne says they had been concerned about coastal inundation but were fortunate they did not have a very high tide.
A state of emergency remained in place in Nelson on Wednesday morning and more than 130 people had spent the night welfare centres in Takaka and Motueka after escaping flooding.

10.16am Stuff report about 6,000 people are isolated in Golden Bay, after slips closed parts of the Takaka Hill. 

10.05am Thunderstorms and gusts over 120km/h could hit the Kapiti Coast, Wellington, Eastern Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough near Cape Campbell, say MetService. 

10.02am Latest from MetService: "Cyclone Gita is now sitting offshore to the east of Canterbury, and will gradually move away to the southeast. As it moves away, the wind and rain will both gradually ease, with just a few showers left around the coast by tomorrow morning."

Rain figures: 
Arthur's Pass has received 115mm in the past 24 hours
Hurunui saw 123.5mm
Tekapo saw 107.5 mm
Cooptown on Banks Peninsula saw 101.5 mm
Ashburton saw 95 mm
Le Bons Bay saw 86 mm
Timaru saw 76.6
Christchurch Airport saw 62.4mm

9.56am Images continue to emerge from the Nelson Tasman town of Riwaka, where heavy rain yesterday caused extensive flooding, bringing debris down onto numerous roads and properties.

9.51am There is a Severe Weather Watch for the Kapiti Coast, Wellington, Eastern Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough near Cape Campbell, and also around Banks Peninsula. 

9.45am Fire and Emergency New Zealand say they've responded to hundreds of weather related callouts overnight as ex-tropical Cyclone Gita moved across the country.

Overall, they received 1302 calls from midday yesterday to 6’oclock this morning, with a large proportion of those calls being weather-related.

9.35am Residents in Timaru District are being urged by the district council to avoid travelling unless it's absolutely necessary due to significant water on the road network. The council says they have teams  inspecting the road network, so not all routes will be signposted yet.

The main road closures include:
- Washdyke Flat Road
- Station Road
- Kellands Hill Road
- Nortons Road
- SH79 at Speechleys Bridge, diversion via Earl Road
- Pleasant Valley Road at junction with School Road SH79
- Rangitata Gorge Road is 4WD only from Boundary Creek

9.16am: From the Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre-

The State Highway roading status is as follows:
• Hokitika to Fox Glacier will be opened at 9am.
• Fox Glacier to Haast remains closed. This situation will be reviewed at 9.00 am and further updates provided as they are received.
• Haast to Makarora is already open.

High tide is expected to be at 3.28pm. Storm damage has been reported at Hari Hari and Whataroa.

9.12am: NZTA have released photos from the storm damaged SH1 coastal route near Wellington. 

9.09am: NZPost say their air and road network was "severely impacted" in the lower North Island and upper South Island. It may mean some deliveries are delayed. 

"We are working to deliver affected product as soon as possible," the tweet said. 

9.04am: SH6 Haast to Makarora is now open.

9.02am: Westland Civil Defence spokesperson Andy Thompson confirmed to 1 NEWS the 40 Chinese tourists stuck on their buses last night on SH6, Whataroa, are still stranded.

The buses were stopped in place and have been unable to move, however Mr Thompson said they were close to the Whataroa Community Hall and so have been able to use the hall's facilities.

9am: NIWA tweeted Kaikoura received 202mm of rain in 18 hours, which was 28 per cent of the annual normal rainfall.

8.54am: According to PowerCo's website, 14,058 properties are still without power this morning due to the strong winds of Cyclone Gita across Taranaki and Manawatu.

8.50am: A Fire and Emergency told 1 NEWS there was 324 storm-related 111 calls between midday yesterday and 5am this morning.

Issues ranged from power lines down, trees on the road and flooding. The majority of calls came from the Taranaki area.

Calls have calmed down since 5am today, with most coming from people who have woken up to property damage that occurred overnight.

8.48am: The New Plymouth District Counil are urging people to save water after a large tree fell and destroyed a pipe bridge. 

"This has cut off water supply to the eastern part of the New Plymouth District and may result in outages this afternoon. Only use water for drinking and cooking," a statement said. 

8.36am: TVNZ1 Breakfast reporter Michael Cropp is on SH1 at Paekakariki north of Wellington where the road is down to one lane. He says traffic is moving very slowly both ways.

8.35am: Spark is giving people (customers and non customers) free WiFi through its 730 Wifi zones. In a press release they said: Anyone within range of a Spark WiFi hotspot can simply search for the Spark network (named "Spark wi-fi zone") and click to join the network, with no password required.

8.30am: The latest update from the Buller District Council:

"The main damage is likely to be roofs that may have blown loose, power lines and fallen trees. Thankfully high tide came and went with no major issues. Twenty-eight people were accommodated in motels and motorcamps last night."

8.26am: Kiwis in central parts of the country are sharing their images of the damage done by Cyclone Gita, which includes a flying trampoline.

8.19am: From NZTA

• Access to Kaikoura re-established with Route 70 via Waipara and Waiau reopening after 7am today. Drivers need to take care and expect a slow journey with crews working on the road.

• Access to Westport now re-established with the Inangahua Junction end of SH6 reopened.

• Crews will be working hard to get more routes reopened to at least one lane today, particularly between Riwaka and Golden Bay over the Takaka Hill.  

Geraldine to Fairlie, SH79, Speechlys bridge some damage/drop out there, see alternate route below SH1 and 8.

8.08am: Road closures - 

SH 1 Peketa to Goose Bay North Canterbury
SH 1 Mangamaunu to Clarence North Canterbury
SH 1 Hundalee North Canterbury
SH 6 Westport to Greymouth West Coast
SH 6 Hokitika - Haast West Coast
SH 6 Haast to Makarora West Coast
SH 54 Cheltenham to Hunterville Manawatu
SH 60 Riwaka to Takaka Nelson
SH 73 Kumara Junction to Jacksons West Coast
SH 79 Geraldine South Canterbury

7.56am: From Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group - 

- The Local State of Emergency is still in place for the Taranaki Region.

- Power outages still affecting a large number of properties.

- State Highways in the region are open, as far as we know, but some local roads may still be blocked by fallen trees.

- Schools make their own decisions on whether to close, based on their power and water situation. People should check their workplaces to see if power and water are on and whether they should go to work.

- People in New Plymouth District should conserve water, as the supply is still disrupted. 

7.51am: Buller District mayor Garry Howard told TVNZ1's Breakfast the effect of ex-Cyclone Gita was mitigated on West Coast due to "great support" and preparation.

7.36am: TVNZ1's Breakfast weather presenter Matty McLean said winds gusted up to 130km/h in places like Taranaki and on the Rimutaka Hill, swells of 9m were recorded off the Taranaki coast, "but the good news is things have calmed down a bit". 

However warnings are still in place, with heavy rain and galeforce winds still hitting the east coast of the South Island. These are expected to ease this afternoon.  

7.31am: Weather Watch forecast the heavy rain today looks to be around the Otago/Canterbury area, but is set to ease. It moves up the country on Thursday to central New Zealand, with Nelson/Marlborough and Wellington getting the heavy rain which is set to ease.  

7.19am: Buller District Mayor Garry Howard told Breakfast this morning it's a "different day today". 

"We've got away fairly well with the high winds that came through and the seas, whilst they were very rough didn't get the same sea swell and sea surge into properties like the previous storm."

7.13am: SH1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki is down to one lane. Police said motorists can expect "significant delays" from both directions. 

7.07am: Road openings and closures in the upper South Island from NZTA:
• Rocks Road Nelson closed around high tide early this morning, and reopened at 4am.  

Inangahua end of SH6 fallen trees on highway means Westport is currently a little isolated with the Coast Road north of Greymouth from Rapahoe to just outside Westport closed, SH6. Crews will working at daylight to clear this route into Westport via Inangahua.

• Crews will be working hard to get these routes reopened this morning and an access way into Kaikoura along Route 70 (Waiau) and through the Hundalees to the south/ Oaro today.

6.57am: The Ministry of Education say all schools and ECEs in the Buller District will close today. The Ministry also advise those in storm hit areas to remain in contact with schools in case of closures. 

6.55am: Several flights cancelled and delayed out of Wellington this morning.

6.50am: State Highway 1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki has re opened to a single lane. 

6.47am: Wellington - KiwiRail crews are working to fix a slip on the Johnsonville line, and signals fault on the Kapiti Line. They warned delays are likely of up to 20 minutes on the Hutt Valley Line this morning.

6.42am: Footage of a motorist driving through the heavily flooded Takaka Hill road in the Tasman District as ex-tropical Cyclone Gita shows brown floodwaters all over the road.

6.37am: The latest Metservice satellite image shows Cyclone Gita's eye has arrived south-east of the South Island. Dunedin is still windy and rainy. 

6.25am: Over 15,000 homes are still without power in Taranaki and Manawatu this morning. Most of those – almost 2000 – are in Patea.

Taranaki declared a state of emergency last night because of high winds causing problems on the roads and with power and water supplies.

People in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Onaero and Urenui have been urged to save water and only use the bare minimum.

That’s because a falling tree ruptured the pipe from a reservoir to the New Plymouth water treatment station.

6.23am: Christchurch City Council say there has been several wastewater overflows along the Heathcote and Avon Rivers, and in Akaroa. 

6.20am: Heavy rain is still hitting the South Island's east coast, with strong galeforce winds whipping through too. It is expected to ease this afternoon. 

6.12am: TVNZ1's Breakfast weather presenter Matty McLean is in Nelson this morning. The area was hard hit last night. 

McLean said it was currently dry in the area and the winds had died down, "but it doesn't mean there wasn't a lot of crazy weather [in Nelson] and much of the country last night". 

Nine metre swells were recorded off the coast of Taranaki and Kaikoura saw almost 200mL of rain yesterday, with NIWA saying is four times their monthly average.

Watch Breakfast live here. 

6.03am: Metservice current Severe Weather Warnings -

Heavy rain for Kaikoura Coast, Canterbury, North Otago, Dunedin
Strong wind for Taranaki, Taihape, Whanganui, Manawatu, Kapiti-Horowhenua, Wellington and Wairarapa including the Tararua District, Marlborough, Buller, Westland and Canterbury

5.51am: Update from Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi last night. 

5.48am: Thousands of people are still without power in Taranaki.

5.43am: Police have confirmed SH1 is closed between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki, with hide tide washing across both lanes last night. 

"The Paekakariki Hill Road is available as a detour for light vehicles only, this detour can add up to 30 minutes to your travel time," police say.

5.40am: Nelson mayor Rachel Reese and Buller Mayor Garry Howard are scheduled to update us on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning. Watch LIVE here. 

5.37am: 1 NEWS journalist Michael Cropp's update from Wellington, where the Paekakariki coastal road is shut.

Large waves have tossed debris (rocks, sticks, branches) onto both lanes of SH1 along the Paekakariki coastal road. 

He understands the road and seawall are damaged. 

"Hundreds of trucks are parked up, some drivers have been here since about midnight when the road was closed," he said. 

5.28am: Nelson/Tasman, West Coast and Christchurch 

Fire and Emergency call outs across the South Island overnight

Callout estimates from 9pm last nigh  to 4am this morning:

- 20 in Nelson

- 45 on the West Coast (this includes all districts)

- 12 in Christchurch


Today’s weather outlook

The weather looks to die down from this morning but have heavy patches of rain again from midday.

Latest update:

- 80 people to escorted home from the Takaka Welfare Centre

- 53 people at the Motueka Welfare Centre which’ll remain open till the end of the event

- Marahau and Collingwood Welfare centres remain open

- Nelson's welfare centre at the Salvation Army Hall remains open

Road closures

SH60 on the Riwaka side of the Takaka Hill

SH6 Tahunanui to Stepneyville

*also some streets in and around the region are closed but council is updating later this morning

West Coast

Today’s weather outlook

Westport – rain for most of the day getting heavy at times. South easterlies this afternoon.

Hokitika – Gusty easterlies and rain getting heavy at times.

Greymouth – Gusty easterlies and rain getting heavy at times.

Latest update from council

- Schools to remain closed today. 

- Westland District Council are meeting at 8am this morning to go over the state of emergency still in place.

- People are asked to delay travel where possible.

- Power is intermittent in some places and everyone’s asked to treat all power lines as live. 

- Buller Electricty Limited has managed to restore power to those effected overnight however they’re asking people to have a contingency plan in place as they can’t guarantee continued supply.

Road closures

SH6 Hokitika to Haast

SH73 Jacksons to Kumara Junction

Sh6 Westport to Greymouth

SH6 Inangahua Junction to Westport

*also some streets in and around the region are closed but council is updating later this morning


Today’s weather outlook

Heavy showers throughout the day.

Latest update from council

Christ College is shut today – a decision made by the Board of Trustees. It is understood but not confirmed that other schools are doing the same thing due to potential difficulties for parents getting their kids to school.

Although Christchurch has had significant rainfall, the council says it got 50 per cent less than expected with no reports of flooding above floor level.

Big concern is high tide again at 9am.

Nine people are in the Civil Defence evacuation centre – all tourists – and this will be closed at 9am this morning.

Christchurch's wastewater system is under pressure so residents are urged to shower sparingly and delay washing clothes and dishes.

Surface flooding is an issue however the council are hoping some will reside before peak traffic – motorists urged to take caution.

Road closures

SH70 inland Kaikoura Road

SH1 Hundalee

SH1 Peketa to Goose Bay

Sh1 Mangamaunu to Clarence 

*also some streets in and around the CBD are closed but council is updating later this morning

To view yesterday's developments, click here. 


What happened Tuesday - 

-Some people have left their homes near Christchurch's flooded Heathcote River.
-More than 20,000 students and pre-schoolers have been affected by school and early learning centre closures.
-Power outages have hit residents in Taranaki and Tasman districts, with over 23,000 people without power.
-Parts of state highways are closed on the West Coast and the Kaikoura region.
-Canterbury and the Marlborough Sounds are getting significant rainfall.
-Buller, Selwyn District, Grey District, Westland, Taranaki, Nelson Tasman and Christchurch have all declared a state of emergency.
-The centre of Cyclone Gita is barreling towards the West Coast and upper tip of the South Island.
-Air NZ cancelled all services into and out of Wellington from 2.45pm today through until midnight.
-Low-lying Christchurch residents have been told to prepare to evacuate due to heavy rain.
-Police have warned motorists to be aware of high winds and debris on the roads and drive with care.

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