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More bad weather forecast for the weekend

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/01/2017

Heavy wind and rain across the central and south of New Zealand has largely eased after major storms hit overnight but another low is due to hit the country on Saturday.

But the MetService is predicting that weather front will pass fairly quickly.

The North Island will dodge it on Saturday, but the West Coast will be the first place it hits, gradually moving east throughout the day.

It will be a wet day for most of the country on Sunday, and Nelson and the eastern Bay of Plenty will be hit hard.

"It's likely we'll have watches and warnings out, but things will improve by the end of the day on Sunday," MetService meterologist Tom Adams said.

For residents in the capital, it's forecast clear up for Anniversary Day on Monday.

Things are turning sour further south already, however, with southwest gales in Otago became severe on Thursday morning gusting 120 km/h to 140 km/h from Clutha to North Otago but are expected to ease in the afternoon.

Fire crews, police and contractors have been kept busy with a number of calls from members of the public about roofing lifting, trampolines flying across yards and power cuts in Otago.

The MetService has cancelled all other severe weather warnings from the severe rain and gales overnight on Wednesday and on Thursday morning, however a strong wind advisory is still in place for coastal areas of Auckland.

The fire service in the Wellington area attended 27 callouts for rooves lifting and trees falling on roads between 4am and 8am.

"Most were very, very minor," the shift manager said.

Wellington Harbour ferries were cancelled because of the rough weather on Thursday morning.

The winds, around the affected regions were strong enough to force the capital's fleet of trolley buses off the road in favour of diesel alternatives.

Strong winds closed the Rimutaka Hill road north of Wellington and a slips and flooding also closed a number of South Island highways, but the winds which reached up to 160km/h and rains have eased.

The Lewis Pass and SH 65 are now open to one lane only.

SH 7 from Reefton to Greymouth is still closed, but is expected to reopen on Thursday afternon, despite the water level not dropping at Stillwater.

State Highway 73 between Christchurch and the West Coast in the South Island is still closed due to slips, fallen trees and flooding, and will not be reopening on Thursday.

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