Wild weather causes power outages and flooding across the country

NZ 08/11/2017

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Severe weather has brought down trees, cut out power and forced evacuations in parts of the country early on Wednesday morning.

MetService has predicted a "significant storm" and has put rain, wind and snow warnings in place.

Auckland is expected to be hit by torrential rain at around 7am.

Severe rain, wind and snow warnings are in place, with weather beginning to ramp up overnight.

The storm caused power cuts on the West Coast, Nelson, Marlborough and parts of the South Island east coast early on Wednesday morning, say Fire Emergency NZ southern communication's Ian Littlejohn.

"Thankfully there were no reports of injuries."

On the West Coast power poles caught fire after being hit by debris, including one by a flying trampoline, and trees fell across roads.

Freedom campers at Mapua, near Nelson, had to be helped away from the waterfront.

In the Nelson suburbs of Tahunanui and Monaco firefighters responded to reports of sea surge but were forced to continue on foot when they found Martin Street blocked by a catamaran, Mr Littlejohn said.

Fire and Emergency spokesperson Ian Littlejohn says they've had an influx of calls.

"With severe weather events such as we've been experiencing, it's a timely reminder to tie down and bring in any outdoor furniture, make sure barbeques are secured and gas is turned off and turn trampolines upside-down."

A number of roads in the same area, as well as the West Coast, are on watch due to falling trees and debris.

State Highway 69 between Reefton and Inangahua was closed by fallen trees on Wednesday morning.

MetService predicts the storm will bring wind gusts of up to 130kmh to the Canterbury high country this morning.

Heavy rain and snow is also forecast for parts of the lower South Island. Overnight there's already been a downpour in Westland and Fiordland.

Parts of Southland and Fiordland, north of Gore and inland Otago above 500 metres, could get up to 15cm of snow.

Areas 300m above sea level can also expect lighter snow.