Police are appealing to motorists to avoid any non-essential travel in the areas affected by this morning's storm.
Since approximately 6am this morning, there have been numerous reports from the Patea and Waverley areas of trees and debris blocking areas of State Highway 3, as well as roofs and power lines blocking roads. Some houses in Patea have reportedly had roofs blown off and windows smashed as a result of the storm, and residents have been advised they can take shelter at the Patea Fire Station (provided they can make it there safely).
Trees have also blocked the road on Manawapou Hill (State Highway 3) in South Taranaki. The trees are littering a 100 metre stretch of the road, and traffic is currently backed up for approximately 5 kilometres, with no diversions in place.
The storm has also made its presence felt in Wellington, with high winds felling a tree on Wainuiomata Road, bringing power lines down with it. A vehicle has crashed into the tree, however fortunately the driver of that vehicle was not injured. A tree has also fallen in Ngaio Gorge Road and a yacht has broken its mooring at the Clyde Quay Marina in Wellington.
Despite several weather-related crashes as a result of the storm, fortunately Police have not yet been made aware of any injury crashes. As the storm moves across the central North Island, Police are reiterating their request to motorists to avoid travelling if at all possible, as emergency services are currently facing delays in getting to all areas affected by the storm.
Inspector Paul Jermy Central Communications