14 Sep 2011

Strong winds batter North Island

10:17 pm on 14 September 2011

Gale force winds buffeted large parts of the North Island on Wednesday.

The Transport Agency says driving conditions were hazardous in the morning for large trucks and motorbikes in Taranaki, Waikato, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, and Western Bay Of Plenty.

The agency warned the winds might bring trees down on power lines and lift insecure roofing.

Strong southwesterlies, gusting up to 120 km/h in the lee of Mount Taranaki, were expected to ease to severe gale by about 9am.

Emergency services said no damage had been reported.

The Transport Agency says new snowfalls were also expected near the summit of the Desert Road, making driving hazardous.