The winds brought a tree down on to a footpath in Carterton. PHOTO/ERIN COLLINS

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

Spring has officially sprung, and strong winds have returned to batter the region and cause chaos around the countryside.

Firefighters in Carterton and Greytown were kept busy on Monday afternoon after being called out to several incidents relating to wind damage.

This included reports of roofing iron coming loose, a trampoline flying through a window, and railway barrier arms and powerlines coming down.

Power was cut to more than 520 homes and Monday’s afternoon train services were also replaced by bus after a tree came down on to the tracks.

Metservice forecaster Gerard Bellan said Wairarapa residents should prepare for more, with a severe wind warning in place until early this morning.

“It’s very spring like. There’s a lot of wind and we’re forecasting gusts of 125kmh in exposed areas.”

It was a mixed story with some parts of the region hit harder than others, he said.

Coastal areas such as Castlepoint and Ngawi, were also especially windy, with gusts of 122kmh at Castlepoint on Monday.

With the strong winds set to continue, Bellan urged people to take care and “batten down the hatches”.

“We’re going to have these active fronts moving up the country and before those are these strong northwesterlies, followed by a cold southwesterly.

“So, we’ve got about three of these over the next 10 days.”