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Huffs and puffs buffet us

A tree from a property on Main St, Greytown, fell on to the road, disrupting traffic temporarily. PHOTO/JOHN LAZO-RON

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It was hard to walk, run, drive, and protect properties on Tuesday after strong wind gusts of up to 126kmh wreaked havoc all over Wairarapa.

MetService issued a strong wind warning of northwest gales for Wairarapa, including the Tararua district, on Monday night until 11pm Tuesday night.

MetService meteorologist Mmathapelo Makgabutlane said it was a horrendous day for Castlepoint, with wind speeds clocking 126kmh.

Remutaka Hill reached wind speeds of up to 109kmh, and Masterton had gusts of up to 105kmh. The last time Masterton had winds over 100kmh was in September.

Reports of vehicles being lifted from the ground, trampolines flying over to neighbouring backyards, and trees falling and crushing fences were recorded throughout the day due to the severe gales.

Traffic in one lane at the north end of Main St in Greytown temporarily came to a stop when a tree from a nearby property fell, crushing the driveway fence and spilling on to the road.

olice were called in to help clear the mess on the road.

The heavy winds also got the better of a truck on Paierau Rd in Matahiwi, which crashed and rolled on to its side Tuesday afternoon.

The truck had very little cargo, making it easy for the strong winds to push against the truck’s side curtains, eventually forcing it on to its side.

A crane was brought in to lift the truck. However, a spokesperson from Loaded Construction said the heavy gales made it too dangerous to crane the truck, therefore they had to pull it over.

Police were at the incident to divert traffic and said there were no reported injuries.

Although MetService’s weather warning was in place until 11pm Tuesday night, Makgabutlane said the worst of it should have already passed. However, the region could still expect gusty northwesterly winds until tomorrow, when the weather was expected to ease.

Wairarapa Road Safety Council manager Bruce Pauling advised motorists to avoid driving in such heavy wind conditions but said if you needed to travel, to drive slowly to avoid your vehicle being lifted and any trees falling on to the road.

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