Civil Defence warning ahead of Tropical Cyclone Lusi's arrival

By Patrice Dougan, Teuila Fuatai

Is the weekend's bad weather going to wreck you plans? Contact the Herald with your story here.

Severe weekend weather from Tropical Cyclone Lusi could cause more trouble for Christchurch residents struggling with last week's storm clean-up, weather forecasters say.

Heavy rain and strong winds are expected to hit the top of the North Island late Friday - with a severe weather watch from MetService already in place for Northland, Auckland and Coromandel for Friday evening and Saturday.

The ex-cyclone will then head south and likely reach eastern parts of the South Island, including Christchurch, on Saturday night, MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said.

Civil Defence officials and the Coastguard have already issued warnings for the rough weather, with people being reminded about an emergency survival kit and household emergency plan for adverse weather events.

The Coastguard also advised boaties to seek a temporary berth for vessels in a marina this weekend.

Mr Corbett said the worst of the weather looked to be hitting the North Island, however Christchurch could not be ruled out.

"If you're in some of those northern and eastern areas, start to plan and maybe batten down the hatches,'' he said.

The worst of the weather from Cyclone Lusi was likely to hit Northland on Saturday, track to the west of the North Island then head back across central New Zealand, exiting east of the South Island later on Sunday and Monday, Mr Corbett said.

"Many, many places will be under the gun - severe weather, gales - as the whole system just spreads down across the country through the day on Saturday and Sunday.''

Sodden-Christchurch residents needed to be extra wary of the storm conditions, he said.

"The ground is already very saturated. It doesn't take as much rain to cause problems there as ... if the ground was parched bone dry.

"They'll get into a time of persistent rain over eastern parts of the South Island. We've already had discussions with the council because of all the flooding in the last week or so.''

Mr Corbett expected most parts of the country would either have a severe weather watch or warning by Sunday.

WeatherWatch also said Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula were likely to bear the brunt of the severe weekend weather, with areas around Taranaki and Wanganui also at risk.

As the rain and winds moved further south, they were likely to weaken - however strong winds and heavy rain was still possible for Wellington and Canterbury on Sunday.

The storm was unlikely to have a large impact on Otago and Invercargill, WeatherWatch said.

Read more:
Cyclone Lusi: What you need to know

Current predictions are:

• Heavy rain for the northeast of the North Island from Northland to Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne. Heavy rain also for the northeast of the South Island including Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury.

• Gale force winds for most areas of the North Island and upper South Island, with severe or damaging gales in some places.

• Large coastal waves and storm surge for the northeast of the North Island, especially from Northland to Bay of Plenty.

Mr Hamilton said with winter approaching, storms should be expected and all households and work places should be prepared.

Before a storm:

• Develop a household emergency plan. Assemble and maintain your emergency survival items, as well as a portable getaway kit.

• Prepare your property by securing large heavy objects and any item which could become a deadly or damaging missile.

• Keep materials at hand for repairing windows, such as tarpaulins, boards and duct tape.

When a warning is issued and during a storm:

• Stay informed on weather updates. Listen to your local radio stations for advice for your community and situation.

• Put your household emergency plan into action and check your getaway kit.

• Secure, or move indoors, all items that could get blown about in strong winds.

• Close windows, external and internal doors. Pull curtains and drapes over unprotected glass areas.

• If the wind becomes destructive, stay away from doors and windows and shelter inside the house.

• Water supplies can be affected so store drinking water in containers and fill bathtubs and sinks.

• Power cuts are possible in severe weather. Unplug small appliances which may be affected by electrical power surges, and if power is lost, unplug major appliances.

• Bring pets inside. Move stock to shelter. If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you.

A forecast image of the potentially damaging storm. Photo / Metvuw.com
A forecast image of the potentially damaging storm. Photo / Metvuw.com

After a storm:

• Listen to your local radio stations for the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.

• Check for injuries and help others if you can, especially people who require special assistance.

• Look for and report broken utility lines.

• Contact your local council if your house has been severely damaged.

• If your property or contents are damaged take notes and photographs and contact your insurance company.

Detailed advice is at www.getthru.govt.nz.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 29 Jul 2014 18:08:14 Processing Time: 701ms