Wild wind split a tree in two on Loop Line earlier today. PHOTO/CAL ROBERTS
Power has been cut to hundreds of properties throughout Wairarapa and fire crews are being rushed off their feet, with trees down and garden structures blowing away.
Wind gusts reached 130kmh on the Remutaka summit around midnight, and 105kmh in Masterton.
Metservice meteorologist April Clark said the gusty weather would be sticking around, but a light retrieve could be expected this afternoon before it kicks back in.
Sever weather warnings are expected to be issued for Wairarapa shortly.
A tree fell on a car in Tauherenikau, but police said no people were injured.
At least two trees have fallen in Carterton.
Masterton firefighters were called to a cat enclosure and a shed being blasted away by the strong gusts in Solway this morning.
More than 500 properties are without power, which is expected to be restored around noon today.
Currently 279 properties in Solway are affected, as well as 58 in Carrington and 47 in Mauriceville.
Power to 184 properties in Opaki was restored by 10am.
Ms Clark said the wind was caused by the head of a front which was now moving over the upper North Island.
“We are expecting those winds to remain strong and gusty but ease off during the morning and ease off quite a lot in some areas during the afternoon and evening.
“There will be a brief reprieve from the wind but it will pick up again overnight as another front starts to move on to the [Wairarapa] from the west as we head into tomorrow.”