This is what it was like driving on the motorway .. State Highway 2 on the way into the city. Although the weather in Wellington has been wet, windy and cold .. it is mild compared to the mayhem that has been caused further un the North Island.
Damage from the wild weather that has lashed the country will cost tens of millions to fix
The worst of the storm cleared Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel last night but thousands of people still spent a second night without power. Repair crews struggled to deal with the sheer number of lines brought down by hurricane-force winds.
Emergency services were still dealing with storm-related calls around Auckland, Northland and Coromandel yesterday although the number of calls had dropped by late afternoon as the worst of the weather made its way down the country. Most calls were about road blockages, fallen trees and power lines, vehicles trapped in floods and people in danger.
Meanwhile, up to 20,000 Telecom landline customers in the upper North Island were without service at 5pm last night. Some mobile coverage was also affected.
Meanwhile, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders were disappointed yesterday as Mt Ruapehu was forced to remain closed. Both slopes were shut on Tuesday as winds up to 100km/h whipped the snow into a blizzard, but the mountain is expected to reopen today.
Dargaville residents were last night warned to prepare for the possibility of the Northern Wairoa River flooding the town, while the Far North remained in a state of emergency. Many small communities remained isolated because of road closures, slips and surface flooding and a lot of areas were still without power. About 160 people from the Kaitaia area were displaced because of damage to houses. Kaeo was under water for the second time in four months, remained isolated and without power, water or sewerage services.
Thames Hospital has suspended surgery until full electricity is restored. Most roads were reopened but caution was advised because there was still a lot of debris.