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Thread: Weather Bomb hits NZ

  1. #1
    LilAmy's Avatar
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    And we all still want to move to NZ :D

    http://xtramsn.co.nz/news/0,,11964-5894278,00.html

    12/06/2006NewstalkZB

    Much of the South Island has been turned into a winter wonderland, but it is anything but a fairy tale for emergency services.

    Many roads across Canterbury have been closed, while others are marginal because of heavy snowfalls after a so-called 'weather bomb' moved in overnight. The 'event of the winter' is the way MetService is describing the snow currently falling on Canterbury.

    Christchurch is blanketed in white down to sea level, and Fairlie in mid-Canterbury has 90 centimetre-deep snow drifts. Christchurch Airport is closed while the runway is cleared. Many bus services around the Canterbury region have been cancelled.

    Up to 90 centimetres of snow has been reported in the mid-Canterbury town of Fairlie. Andy George from Newstalk ZB's Timaru newsroom says the snow is down to sea level, with police telling motorists to stay home.

    He says the township Geraldine has been closed to pedestrians as so much snow is building up on the roofs that it is soon going to start sliding down and collapsing on to the pavements below. State Highway One is closed from Rolleston south, Porters Pass is closed, and heavy flooding has closed State Highway 75 near Motukarara.

    Chains are required on State Highway 7 near Hanmer. Christchurch City Council is reporting the Summit Road and the Sign of the Kiwi to Gebbies Pass are also closed.

    Schools throughout Canterbury are closed. Both Lincoln University and Christchurch Polytechnic are closed.

    Christchurch Hospital is asking those who cannot make appointments to ring in and cancel. Christchurch Airport was still closed at 11am but officials were asking passengers to turn up as it could open at any stage.

    The intersection of Wigram and Hayton Roads is flooded and will probably be closed all day.

    Meteorologist Richard Green says the snow in Christchurch is set to turn to heavy rain by late morning. Meanwhile it is not snow, but wind and rain which are causing problems in Wellington.

    There is plenty of surface flooding, and gales have taken the roof off a house at the base of the Rimutakas. Power lines have also been brought down in Haitaitai.

    Wellington City Council's Simon Beattie says other than that, things appear to be okay, with no reports of anything too major.

    The Cook Strait ferries are reporting no problems, with sailings going ahead as normal, however crossings are being closely monitored.

    The high winds are also causing problems for boaties in the Bay of Plenty.

    Tauranga Yacht Club manager Toni Stallard says several boats stored on land have already been damaged, and she is urging all boat owners to make sure their boats are secure.

    She says some of them are flipping over and damaging other boats. Toni Stallard says it is pretty rough at the moment and it is going to get worse.

    Meanwhile much of the greater Auckland region is still without power as the region is battered by strong winds and heavy rain.

    Transpower expects the power outage to continue into the afternoon. Technicians are scrambling to repair the fault at the SOE's Otahuhu substation. A wire fell across a 110 kilovolt feeder line at about 8:30 this morning.

    Much of Auckland and Manukau City has been cut and there are also reports of outages reaching up to the Far North.

    Auckland City's emergency operations centre has been activated and motorists are being asked to stay of the roads as traffic signals are still down. Businesses and schools have been told not to send staff or pupils home if they are safe where they are.

    Mobile phone usage should be restricted to essential calls only. Auckland City says at this stage there is no problem with water supply.

    To minimise pressure on waste water systems it is asking people to not wash clothes or dishes or flush toilets over the next few hours.

    Telecom has advised that customers in Auckland and other areas may be having problems accessing phone and Internet services due to the power outage.

    The power outage has affected surgery at the Mercy Ascot Hospital in Auckland. Spokesman Geoff Sparkes says patient safety has not been compromised as back up generators are supplying emergency power, but he says no new surgery will begin in the hospital's 19 theatres until the power is restored.

    Meanwhile the operators of the EFT-POS system says the power outage has not affected the network but they add that obviously businesses without power will not be able to dial in.

    The bad weather is moving north and now gale force winds and torrential rain have hit the middle of the country.

  2. #2
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    Hope everyone is keeping safe in this wild weather. Stevey, hope you?re OK in your campervan and have found a sheltered spot to park it. (He's probably thoroughly enjoying it as he has a penchant for 'extreme' weather). Taffy and WG, watch that rotting leccy pole, if trees can come down I?m sure that stands a good chance of toppling as well. Glenda, guess your mandarins are ?picking? themselves just now, as they?ll probably be ripped off their trees.

    Take care everyone!

    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    We've certainly had some wild wet and windy weather up here with the occasional power cut. Not surprisingly the ripe mandarins have dropped.

    Do worry for those about in campervans. Fortunately, like in the UK, these snowy periods do not last long ... well, on lower ground that is.

    :icon_biggrin:
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    Stevey, get your thermals on, lad. At least you're having a taste of everything a NZ winter can throw at you.

    Snow freezes on South Island roads
    UPDATED 12.15pm Tuesday June 13, 2006

    Ice was today the major problem for drivers in the South Island after yesterday's snow fall froze overnight. Dunedin police said there was some snow in the city earlier this morning, which has since frozen, leaving city streets treacherous.

    Snow forced the closure of the city's northern motorway and State Highway 1 to Waitati was also closed. Some bus services were affected. There have been no reports of accidents so far. Further north, schools in Palmerston have been closed and a number of other Dunedin schools have delayed starts.

    Electricity lines companies from South Canterbury to North Canterbury said contractors were working flat out in rural communities to try to restore power to as many properties as possible. About 10,000 electricity consumers throughout the province were still without power today and many isolated properties might have to wait a few more days yet before full services were restored. An Alpine Energy spokeswoman said this morning that about 2500 properties in rural areas around Timaru were still without power.

    Electricity Ashburton operations manager Ken Stirling said about 6000 properties were waiting to be reconnected in Mid Canterbury. Power to most of the Ashburton area and Methven had been restored last night and contractors were concentrating today on repairing main feeder lines and substations. 'It's very unlikely that everyone will be back on tonight', Mr Stirling said. Some rural customers might have to wait a few more days.

    Conditions in Timaru were also described as very dangerous. Timaru police said conditions were now clear and calm, but there had been a 'massive' frost. 'There is a lot of black ice around Timaru. We are advising everyone to take extreme caution and only travel if necessary.'

    Police in Christchurch said city roads were reasonably dry and frost free, but urged care in areas where some deposits of snow remains. Several businesses and schools are expected to remain closed today.

    A number of roads in Canterbury remain closed and an avalanche warning has been issued for Mt Cook after a huge snow dump. The freezing weather moved north overnight with snow on the Desert Road which remained open this morning. The MetService said more snow was expected in the South Island, but not to the same extent as yesterday. It is under fire from Canterbury farmers for failing to warn of heavy snow to sea level -- until there was already half a metre lying on the ground.

    'We were told there was a fast-moving front heading north and some rain, but there was never mention of snow, particularly down the low levels,' Winchmore farmer Rupert Curd told the Press newspaper. Mr Curd said stock losses should be minimal because farmers had yet to begin calving or lambing. However, some woolsheds and shelter belts had collapsed under the weight of the snow.

    MetService forecaster Allister Gorman said the service was not 'entirely happy' with its predictions. 'It did sneak under the radar a bit. We would hope to do better than this.' The service first warned up to 15cm of snow could fall to 300m in South Canterbury, with lighter falls to 200m on Sunday evening. However yesterday morning about 15cm of snow covered the roads south of Christchurch, trapping several motorists and trucks.

    MetService forecaster Bob McDavitt said today the worst of the storm was over. The amount of snow to such low levels came as a surprise. The low itself is now moving away, taking away all its clouds, although there is now a small cold front moving across North Island and will be bringing some showers and also some snow to the Central Plateau.

    Mr McDavitt said the Chatham Islands were experiencing gale force winds as the low moved over sea. The weather for the rest of the week was expected to be settled, but it would take a while for the temperatures to return to normal.

    - NZPA, NEWSTALK ZB

    Mother Bear

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  5. #5
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    Even NI is getting it.

    Hawke's Bay freeze shuts schools, roads
    14 June 2006
    By BRUCE CUTLER and NZPA

    A cold front sweeping the country dumped snow in Hawke's Bay, closing roads and schools, and South Island farmers faced a second day of bitter chill. Snowmen and sleds replaced school books for pupils in parts of the central North Island yesterday as snow blanketed the ranges west of Napier.

    The Desert Road was shut at 5.30pm, and not expected to reopen till this morning. The alternative route through Ohakune was still open last night.

    Some snow fell on the Rimutaka Hill Road but it remained open. The Napier-Taihape road was closed by mid-morning after up to 30 centimetres fell in the upper ranges of the Gentle Annie region. A spokesman said the road could reopen this afternoon – but that depended on any further falls. Snow also slowed traffic on the Napier-Taupo road.

    Black ice and treacherous conditions were expected this morning. Light snow fell to 600 metres throughout Hawke's Bay and the central island.

    Steve Kelleher of Ruangatiki Station, 50 kilometres east of Taihape, said his children spent much of the day making snowmen and riding sleds after Moawhango School sent pupils home. MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said conditions should improve late today.

    Technicians restored power yesterday to 40 houses in Rotorua that had been without electricity for 24 hours. Unison lines company spokesman Bill Hewitt said remote areas might have blackouts.

    In North Otago and Canterbury, some high-country farmers had not been able to check on stock trapped by the biggest snowfall in 60 years. Federated Farmers said property damage in Canterbury included roofs buckling under the weight of snow, but no stock losses had been reported.

    Oamaru farmer Bruce McNab said the cold snap had taken farmers by surprise. The snow had frozen hard last night, compounding access problems. With more bad weather forecast tomorrow, farmers would be moving fast to bring in stock.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  6. #6
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    Wow, only just read this one!!! Still, we're fairly 'broken in' due to years of very strange/disappointing weather!!

  7. #7
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    Friends in BOP had to scrape their car windows this morning cos of the frost, she said it reminded her of living in Edinburgh!!!

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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    Thousands face wait for power
    15 June 2006
    By KIM THOMAS



    Thousands of Cantabrians could be without power until next week as electricity companies struggle to repair damage from this week's snow storm. Power companies estimate they will still be working to reconnect up to 2200 homes from North Canterbury to Ashburton next week. Yesterday an estimated 7000 houses or farms were without power.

    Orion commercial general manager Rob Jamieson said it had been a long, difficult process restoring power to everyone. 'Crews are having to get through metre-deep snow before they can fix anything. That's been a real challenge. Then, as they go along to fix a main line they find lines into private properties also need fixing.'

    Orion manages the electricity network that supplies power to homes and businesses between the Waimakariri to Rakaia Rivers. Jamieson said 8000 people in this area lost their power during Monday's snowstorm and yesterday about 2000 remained without electricity.

    It was predicted that up to 200 people, mostly in more remote areas, would still be without power next week, Jamieson said. 'The vast majority of people will have power restored by the end of the weekend.'

    Monday's weather bomb had badly damaged power lines because it consisted of 'wet snow' that clung to power lines and was compounded by a lack of wind to clear it, he said.

    Electricity Ashburton's operations manager Ken Stirling said its network had suffered major damage in the snowstorms. Almost the entire system, or 15,000 homes, had been affected on Monday and there were still about 5000 houses without power. Stirling estimated there would still be 2000 homes without electricity by next Monday.

    Stewart Ashton from line company Connetics said his crews had been working flat out to fix broken lines. 'We worked until 9pm on Monday and 7.30pm on Tuesday and it looks like guys will be working over the weekend as well. It feels like a bit of a never-ending job at the moment – we just fix one and then move on to another,' he said.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  9. #9
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    With the damage down by the weather, it crossed my mind that is there something we should stock up at home other than the food, water and fuel?

    Maybe like a emergency/disaster kit will be good in case the worse happen.

    Pulsarblu

  10. #10
    LilAmy's Avatar
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    Default Weather Bomb hits NZ

    Hello,

    Are the Winters in NZ normally to the extreme like this one has been or is this a rare occurance?

    It's awful what's happening...

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