A house in New Plymouth narrowly missed being damaged by a tree brought down by gale force winds, after a car bore the brunt of the fall.
On Tuesday morning, Julie Farrant was just about to walk out the door of her Brooklands home when she decided to make a cup of tea and piece of toast first before leaving for the day. Before shed even had a chance to take a bite, she heard a loud crack and crash outside.
Initially thinking it was an earthquake, Farrant soon realised the noise was a tree that had fallen amid strong winds, hitting her car but luckily not reaching her house.
It’s pretty squished, she said about the car. But she credited the Volkswagen Tongans 5 star safety rating, saying it likely saved my home.
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Following the incident, Farrant rang her husband, neighbour and 111, and said she was very impressed with a crew Fire and Emergency NZ who turned up promptly to help despite likely being busy with other calls amid the wild weather in the city on Tuesday.
Farrant said Atawhai tree services that helped deal with the debris were great, and that she was glad she decided to stay inside and make that cup of tea.
I feel a little bit lucky.
Trees blocked several parts of the road on State Highway 47, between Turangi and the western side of Tongariro National Park on Tuesday night.
Parts of the North Island have experienced strong gale force winds on Tuesday, that even saw fallen trees close state highways overnight.
According to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), State Highway 47 and State Highway 5 are closed in the central North Island after fallen trees blocked the roads.
Both roads are likely to remain closed overnight, with an update to be provided in the morning, NZTA said in a statement.
Throughout Tuesday, strong winds in New Plymouth toppled trees across roads, tossed trampolines through the air and ripped roofing iron from buildings. While gusts also cut power to some Taranaki towns in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, strong winds further south have also led to hundreds of passengers left stranded on an Interislander ferry for hours due to delays for a safe ferry crossing.
MetService had strong wind warning in place for Taranaki. However, this expired at 9pm on Tuesday, and was being replaced by a wind watch.
A heavy rain warning also lifted at 9pm for Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay north of Napier.
Rain is persisting in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay today, with a Heavy Rain Warning valid until 9pm this evening.
Strong wind watches will remain overnight for Gisborne, Bay of Plenty from Whakatne eastwards, Taup, Taumarunui, Taihape and the ranges of Hawke’s Bay.
MetService forecaster Cameron Coutts said winds gusting 90kmh were recorded at New Plymouth airport at about 7.30pm on Tuesday, with 75kmh winds also recorded at Hwera.
However, he said the wind was easing in the area.
The wild weather is due to a subtropical low that’s moved southeastwards across the North Island, and has been accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds.
On Wednesday, the South Island is in for a calm and sunny day watch with some chilly overnight lows.
A fine Wednesday is also in the cards for Auckland, with a high of 25 degrees Celsius. MetService is forecasting the weather to stay fine through to the end of the weekend, at least.

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