25 Dec 2010

Most Wairarapa properties have power back on

6:00 pm on 25 December 2010

Just a handful of households remain without power in Wairarapa on Christmas Day.

Gale-force winds hit the district on Friday, bringing down trees, wires and power poles. Altogether, 5500 properties lost power but Powerco got most of them reconnected by the end of the day.

By Christmas Day morning only 50 remained without electricity, and that number has since been reduced to about a dozen, though Powerco says getting them reconnected has proved to be labour-intensive.

Wairarapa's principal rural fire officer, Phil Wishnowsky, says the gale pulled roofs and guttering off houses and also tipped a truck over, with another truck ploughing into it, on State Highway 2 just north of Masterton.

High winds in Canterbury too

MetService issued severe weather warnings for the West Coast, Canterbury and southern parts of the North Island on Friday, with high winds felling trees, blocking roads and bringing down power lines in Christchurch.

The forecaster says a south-westerly should bring settled weather for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

But gale warnings are likely be back in place across the south of the country as another frontal system moves in after Boxing Day. Heavy rain is also expected for Fiordland and Westland next week.