MetService issues weather warnings for Taranaki

A car was hit by a falling tree in South Taranaki as wind and rain warnings for the region remain in place.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand were called to the scene on Mountain Rd in Eltham at 12.22pm on Sunday, a police spokesperson said.

“A tree fell down and hit a car as it was going past,” she said.

All occupants are out of the vehicle, with some possibly having minor injuries.

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Members of the public have also reported to police a fallen tree on Wiremu Rd in Rahotu, blocking one lane near the bridge before Kina Rd. South Taranaki District Council have been notified.

A piece of roofing iron has also blown onto some power lines near Namu Rd in Opunake.

Metservice meteorologist April Clark said when the front hit the Wellington region heavy rain was likely to follow.

“We’ll probably get a burst of heavy rain … we’re expecting that rain to get more heavy as that front passes over.”

In the Taranaki region they were predicting similar conditions, as the same front was passing over, she said.

“We’re expecting those winds to pick up to 100kmh.”

A heavy rain watch has been added to the heavy rain warning and strong wind warning already in place in Taranaki.

Metservice have issued a heavy rain watch for the central North Island hill country from Taranaki across to Tongariro National Park and Waitomo, including the headwaters of the Whanganui River, from 3pm Sunday to 3pm Monday.

Periods of heavy rain are expected which may approach warning amounts, particularly over high ground.

A heavy rain warning is still in force for Mt Taranaki and a strong wind warning is in place for the entire region on Sunday.

MetService updated the warnings at 9.15am on Sunday, with the area around the mountain expected to get 60 to 90 mm of rain between 3pm and 9pm, with peak intensities of 15 to 25mm per hour.

Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly with the possibility of surface flooding and slips, the warning said.

The strong wind warning also covers Whanganui and Taihape.

Severe gale north to northwesterly winds are expected between 11am and 9pm Sunday, with gusts of 120kmh in exposed places.

Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles, the warning said.

An active front is forecast to move east across New Zealand on Sunday, preceded by a period of heavy rain and gale north to northwesterly winds for many places, Metservice said.

A strong and unsettled westerly flow is expected going into Monday.

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