Wellington winds cause major woes
Sat, 08 Sep 2012 6:00p.m.
By Emma Jolliff
On the day of the All Blacks Test against Argentina, Wellington has been battered by rain and severe gales, some reaching more than 140kmh, and it was a day of disruption.
Gusty winds meant white knuckle landings for visitors to the Capital, and wobbles for those leaving. Some decided it was too risky to try and land at all.
Adriana Weber was relieved to touchdown after a four-hour delay.
“It was terrifying,” says the passenger. “It was really bumpy, really scary. A lot of people were unsure of themselves and [there were] a few screams here and there.”
Many had to change their plans.
“[The flight was] cancelled going to Tauranga, so we've decided to stay on in Wellington until tomorrow,” says passenger Eunice Evans.
Air New Zealand cancelled 20 regional return services, while 10 bound for Wellington were diverted to Palmerston North.
Peter Lewis drove from Palmerston North to pick up family. He needn't have bothered.
“We drove down from Palmerston this morning and they were due to arrive, but the flight has just got re-diverted to Palmerston,” he says.
Outside, Finn Macleod braced himself along Evans Bay. [notes:1.29.27]
“The wind's just so strong!” says the fun-seeker. “It's a massive force pulling you across.”
By midday, the MetService had recorded gusts at the airport of 128kmh, 141kmh at Mt Kaukau and at the top of the Rimutakas.
Windows were blown in at a central hotel, while the Fire Service had more than 80 callouts. There have been a lot of rooftops damaged and a lot of trees that have come down.
Argentineans in town for tonight's Test were surprised at the weather, but weren't going to let it put them off.
“We don't care because we came here to see Argentina and we don't care if it’s raining or sunny,” says fan Frederico Lyons.
While the severe winds have eased, the MetService says gusty winds are still forecast for this evening along with possible showers.
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