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Wild weather batters parts of NZ

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/05/2016

Power has been restored to most of Wellington and a main Westland road has reopened after wild weather battered parts of the country.

Homes on a handful of roads in Aro Valley and Kelburn were still without power on Friday morning after high winds, gusting up to 145km/h, hit the capital overnight.

At one stage in the night around 3500 homes were hit by outages.

The Rimutaka Hill Road, linking Wellington with Wairarapa, was closed overnight due to the gales but has reopened on Friday morning and Haast Pass in Westland which had been closed by falling trees had also reopened.

One victim of the front was a catamaran which had broken free from its mooring and crashed against rocks in Evans Bay near Wellington Airport.

One of its hulls was badly damaged and the yacht was partially submerged.

The weather also caused havoc further south on Thursday with a campervan and truck and trailer unit overturning in Canterbury.

A tornado was reported near Ross south of Hokitika.

Northwest gales are forecast to ease on Friday morning, but westerly gales gusting up to 120km/h are expected to develop in Wairarapa and Central Hawke's Bay late on Friday.

More heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected in the west of the South Island where the MetService says up to 100mm could fall in Westland which has received a drenching this week.

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