An Auckland family had a lucky escape from serious injury when winds gusting at more than 150km/h rolled their rented motorhome on the Napier-Taupo Highway early last night.
The crash happened about 5.15pm, 60km northwest of Napier, between the Mohaka River bridge and the Summit at Te Haroto.
The vehicle, with three adults and two young children inside, was on a downhill straight when caught by the westerly and rolled onto the grass. It was just short of a drop over which another roll could have seen it crashing 100 metres or more down the bank.
The occupants are understood to have climbed out through the rear window of the vehicle belonging to rental firm Apollo.
Three fire crews, from Bay View and Napier, and a St John Ambulance who rushed to the scene, found all five people safely out of the vehicle and uninjured, and the vehicle off the road on its side.
It was one of several incidents relating to the almost traditional Show Week winds in Hawke's Bay, although no other serious incidents were reported on the roads, with motorists possibly heeding warnings issued by police and MetService throughout the day.
Residents of a house about 10km from Waipawa on Pourerere Rd were awakened soon after 5am yesterday when a tree crashed onto the building, pushing a hole into the roof. Power was cut to the area, but the lines held the tree back from causing further damage, said volunteer fire chief Kevin Dyer.
Early last night, Waipukurau fire volunteers had to secure a railway crossing barrier which was damaged in the wind in the town, and a wall of a garage in Hatuma Rd, while the Fire Service in Napier had to secure a fence struck by the wind in Geddis Ave, Maraenui.