WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING OVERNIGHT:
– Ex-tropical cyclone Gita has moved to the east of Banks Peninsula but continues to cause mass disruption in New Zealand.
– One lane has opened on State Highway 1 north of Wellington between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay, which had been closed due to weather damage. NZTA advises motorists to expect long delays.
– States of emergency were declared in Taranaki, Nelson Tasman region, Selywn district, Grey district, Buller, Westland and Christchurch. MetService has lifted a heavy rain warning for Buller.
– Kaikōura is cut off after SH70 the Inland Road was closed just after 8pm. State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura, from Mangamaunu to Clarence, and south between Peketa and Goose Bay, has been closed. NZTA will assess whether it can re-open the Inland Road can be re-opened this morning.
– Takaka Hill road has been closed by slips isolating about 5000 people and 1000 tourists in Golden Bay. Engineers will be assessing the road this morning to see if it can be re-opened.
– Blockages have closed SH6 and Arthurs Pass (SH63) in places, isolating tourists.
– Winds of 140kmh had been recorded in various places around the country, including the Rimutaka Range, Hawera, exposed areas of Wairarapa, and Buller. At Kelburn in Wellington winds peaked around 120kmh.
– Thousands of people remain without power in Taranaki.
– Firefighters had responded to more than 400 weather-related callouts between 2pm on Tuesday and 5am Wednesday.
– Good news for Christchurch: There are no reports of any properties in the city flooding above floor level.
– A number of flights into and out of Wellington airport are cancelled on Wednesday morning but operations look set to resume as normal from now. You can check flights here.
KEY CIVIL DEFENCE TIPS
– Secure, or move inside, anything that could cause damage in strong winds
– Close windows and doors, close curtains to prevent injury from breaking windows
– Stay inside and bring your pets inside. If you have to leave, take them with you
– Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services
– Avoid non-essential travel during severe weather, and never drive through floodwaters
Basic supplies to have at home:
– Water for three days or more – nine litres for every person
– Long lasting food that doesn’t need cooking (unless you have a camping stove or BBQ), and food for babies and pets
– Toilet paper and large plastic buckets for an emergency toilet
– Dust masks and work gloves
Basic supplies to have in a bag in case you have to evacuate:
– Torches and batteries
– Radio – wind up or with batteries
– Hand cleaner
– Copies of important documents (online or paper)
– Walking shoes, warm clothes, raincoat and hat
– First aid kit and prescription medicine
– Water and snack food (remember babies and pets too)
For live updates on the storm check out Stuff.co.nz for their regularly updated post. A big thank you to Stuff for the information on the storm.