The road to Glenorchy is re-opening after a severe storm downed trees and power lines overnight.
Strong winds uprooted trees and in around Queenstown and continue to cause havoc, with Air New Zealand delaying or cancelling flights to or from Queenstown.
The MetService has predicted the severe northwest gales battering the region will ease late this evening.
Queenstown’s council says the Glenorchy Road will reopen at both ends from 1pm.
An email from mouthpiece Michele Poole says: “Drivers can expect delays as work is still continuing to clear fallen trees and debris.”
She adds an arborist is assessing several trees that appear unstable and if they need to be felled there might be rolling closures through the afternoon.
Poole says the wind was so severe overnight that signs were snapped off.
Power to Glenorchy’s expected back on later today.
Delta’s mouthpiece Gary Johnson says: “At this stage we expect to get most power back on by mid to late afternoon. We will have a clearer idea as our crews work through repairs during the course of today.”
Rubbish and recycling collection in Glenorchy has been rescheduled from today to Sunday.
As of 12.45pm, contractors are still clearing fallen trees on Speargrass Flat Rd.
Moke Lake Rd is also closed by fallen trees and Kinloch Rd is also closed by flooding.
Poole: “Crews have yet to make a full assessment of the road and no estimate is available yet of likely reopening.”
Earlier, Glenorchy resident Sonya Poplawski, who works at Heli Glenorchy, says she thinks power went out at about 10pm yesterday.
Trees are down around town, including one at the school – although children are still there today.
It looks like there’s more rain coming, she says.
Strong winds, accompanied by heavy rain and thunder, downed trees and powerlines, closing roads and cutting power to homes in and around Queenstown.
At 8am, power was off in Lake Hayes Estate, Glenorchy, Dalefield, the Lake Hayes-Arrowtown Road including around Millbrook, and in parts of Wanaka.
Delta crews were initially working on Lake Hayes Estate.
Multiple fallen trees were strewn on Speargrass Flat Rd – which is initially impassable from Domain Rd to Lake Hayes-Arrowtown Rd.
Queenstown’s council says: “Crews are having to bring down other trees that are unstable.”
Drivers are urged to be cautious – “there’s a risk that some trees still standing are unstable.”
Tracks and reserves are being assessed.
Any issues should be reported to the council at 4410499.
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