Vector warns power outages possible as strong winds forecast for Auckland

Aucklanders are being warned high winds and debris could cause power cuts, a week after the region was battered by heavy rain.

Strong winds will mainly impact the western North Island and Auckland, with MetService forecasting gusts of 100km/h in exposed places.

Alongside strong winds, MetService forecaster Paul Ngamanu said Aucklanders should expect heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail this evening.

Vector’s Head of Field Services Marko Simunac is warning residents these gusty winds have the potential to damage power lines, resulting in power outages.

“Following a lot of rainfall last week, the soil is still saturated and, together with strong wind gusts, this could unfortunately see an increased chance of trees or vegetation debris damaging power lines.

Earlier today, MetService meteorologist Dan Corrigan said up to 25mm of rain an hour may fall for a brief time.

A strong wind watch is in place for Auckland until 7pm on Wednesday.

“Spring is renowned to be windy,” he said.

Auckland Emergency Management Deputy Controller Fleur Aldridge is encouraging Aucklanders to remain “vigilant” and constantly check weather updates.

“We encourage Aucklanders, particularly those in areas that were affected by last week’s floods, to remain vigilant and continue to keep an eye on the latest weather forecast from MetService as some standing water remains in places.”

If Auckland weather does turn for the worse, Aldridge said it is important to remember to never drive through floodwaters, and to stay at home as long as it is safe to do so.

“Landslides can remobilise when it rains, so stay away from them during and immediately after wet weather. People should also avoid digging out landslide material in these conditions.”

Simunac is encouraging residents, especially in West Auckland, to keep devices charged and keep a power bank and torch handy just in case.

“I want to reassure people we have crews ready to respond and have made preparations to be as ready as we can ahead of any impacts this weather might bring,” Simunac said.

It could be another blow for West Auckland, which was hit with severe flooding last week.

Kumeū experienced its second wettest day since records began, as a storm flooded homes and cut off roads.

Niwa says the area copped 201mm in just 14 hours – and a staggering 149 per cent of the August monthly normal rainfall fell in a single day.

Corrigan said the rain band today will not be as bad as last week due to it not lasting very long and less total rain was expected.

“It should be brief, unlike last week’s event. It will be short-lived.”

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