19 Jul 2015

Weather stops Interislander, closes roads

10:37 am on 19 July 2015

The Interislander's morning and early-afternoon crossings have been cancelled today because of heavy swells in Cook Strait.

A downed tree at Evelyn Street, Paptoetoe.

A tree brought down by stormy weather in Auckland's Papatoetoe. Photo: RNZ

Passengers booked for those sailings have been advised, and a decision is yet to be made about whether the late-afternoon and evening sailings will go ahead.

The cancellations come as the Metservice said the stormy conditions which affected parts of New Zealand have now eased, but that snow was causing problems on many roads.

The Transport Agency said the Desert Road had been closed in the last hour and a detour was in place.

The Rimutaka Hill Road has been reopened but motorists are being urged to take extra care.

And further south, the Police were also warning motorists to be cautious on roads in the Otago and Southland areas after snow fell overnight.

The Police have attended a number of car crashes in Dunedin due to the icy conditions.

Yeserday, stormy weather brought down trees and left almost 2,000 homes without power in parts of Auckland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.

Power has been reconnected to all but 29 houses in Auckland, but the lines company Vector said a handful of properties in Helensville and Riverhead were still without supply.

In the Coromandel, Powerco said several hundred homes were without electricity because of the high winds overnight causing trees to fall on overhead lines.

Yesterday about 6,000 homes were cut off in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty but power has been restored to them.

The Fire Service got 20 weather-related calls overnight in Auckland. Spokesperson Paul Radden said they dealt with trees across roads and two houses with roof damage.