Gales and rain cause cancelled flights at airport, flooding at Whitby

Heavy rain and northwesterly gales with damaging gusts up to 140km/h hit Wellington, the Wairarapa and Marlborough this morning, disrupting flights at the airport and causing flooding in Whitby.

MetService says the winds should ease in Marlborough this afternoon, and in Wellington and Wairarapa early this evening or tonight.

An immediate effect of the winds was the cancellation of some morning flights into Wellington Airport. Flights from Blenheim, Rotorua, Palmerston North and Christchurch were cancelled this morning, and a flight from Dunedin was diverted to Palmerston North. A flight from Taupo was re-scheduled to arrive 150 minutes late. A 12.35 flight from Auckland was re-scheduled to arrive 55 minutes late. Two flights to Christchurch were cancelled.

At 3.20pm the airport advised: The winds are now easing and most flights are operating as normal. International arrivals are scheduled to arrive on time this afternoon. We may still expect some small delays. We ask that travellers check with their airline or on the Wellington Airport website at on their flights status.

The Transport Agency reported at 1.45pm: SH58 is closed at Whitby between Postgate Drive and Joseph Banks Drive due to flooding.

Police reported at 3pm: Motorists are experiencing long delays on SH1 north of Otaki, due to the weather. There is debris from trees on the road between Otaki and Levin.

There were strong winds on the Rimutaka Road this morning. Brenda Wallace tweeted:

It’s windy on the Rimutaka road. About 20 cars have stopped to take shelter where they can. A motorcyclist has had a minor smash to his bike but he’s okay.

MetService Media and Communications Meteorologist Daniel Corbett commented this afternoon: “The boisterous front that has brought such contrasting weather will ease tonight and clear the country overnight, taking the rain and wind with it.

“Saturday will be a quieter day weather-wise in many places, but another spell of wet weather will move in from the west during Saturday evening. This wet weather will clear away to the east by the end of Sunday, bringing a fine and settled day for much of the country on Monday. The remainder of next week will see a continuation of this unsettled pattern of wet weather.”


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