By Katrina Bennett
Motorists driving into Wellington this morning are facing waves crashing over the motorway into the city.
Gale-force winds of up to 150km/h and giant waves are pounding the capital, roads are covered in debris and residents need to be aware of flying trampolines as the city wakes to a vicious winter storm.
The New Zealand Transport Agency has released a video showing waves spraying onto the motorway into the city and urged motorists to follow the speed limit.
Wellington roads are covered in debris and residents need to be aware of flying tramplines as the city wakes to a vicious winter storm and forecast winds of 150km/h.
This morning Wellington airport was lashed by 90 km/h wind gusts and the MetService is warning the capital to expect gusts of up to 150 km/h this morning.
Rocks and trees have come down near the intersection of Hutt and Onslow Rds. Several other slips have also come down along Hutt Rd and a tree has blocked half of Waru St in Khandallah.
Trampolines have been found in the middle of roads in Whitby and in Tawa. In Ngauranga, near the Newlands off-ramp, a 44-gallon plastic barrel is reportedly flying around the motorway.
Further north, cones have been blown over part of the southbound lane on State Highway 1 near Johnsonville.
More than 1000 people are waking up without power in the Wellington region this morning. In Newlands, Johnsonville and Paparangi, 480 people are affected and power isn't expected to be restored for two hours. In Upper Hutt, 580 people are without power in Whitemans Valley, Blue Mountains, Mangaroa, Maidstone and Wallaceville.
There are also outages around Paekakariki, Judgeford and Pauatahanui.
All train services are running, but there are delays on the Hutt Valley, Melling and Wairarapa lines. MetLink says further disruption is possible later in the day.
All harbour ferry sailings have again been cancelled in Wellington because of the weather and more than 20 flights are affected at Wellington Airport.
Some flights have managed to make it out of the capital this morning, but only one - NZ401 from Auckland - has managed to land.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is urging people to check the latest weather conditions before jumping in the car today, and consider alternative transport, as it warns of disruption on every major highway.
It says severe rain is forecast in Kapiti, which could cause flooding on State Highway 1 at the Plimmerton roundabout and on nearby Grays Rd.
The Paekakariki Hill Rd may have wind gusts of 140km/h, which could cause slips.
It's snowing on the Rimutaka Hill Rd, which is also likely to be hit by gusting winds, driving rain and sleet today.
Flooding is also possible on roads in Porirua and Churton Park.
On SH2, there's a chance of flooding between Ngauranga and Petone and, if river levels rise as predicted, Block Rd and River Rd may flood.
On State Highway 53 the Waihenga Bridge may flood and close early this morning.
There's also the risk of flooding and slips on SH58 today.
- Additional reporting, Georgina Campbell, Bernard Orsman