A Rotorua woman who escaped unscathed when a large tree fell near her house has captured the damage on her phone.

Wild weather ripped through the Bay of Plenty overnight, prompting slips and road closures in Rotorua.

Resident Sue Caudwell and her husband James woke to find a massive tree had been toppled by the high winds, narrowly missing their house.

This tree managed to avoid falling onto Susan Caudwell's home when it was toppled in high winds overnight. Photo / supplied
This tree managed to avoid falling onto Susan Caudwell's home when it was toppled in high winds overnight. Photo / supplied

"There was a wild storm in Hinemoa Pt last night about 9pm," she said.


"Wind was swirling wildly around the house when suddenly there was a thump. When I looked out the window all I could see in the dark was autumn leaves."

However, daylight today revealed a massive Dutch elm had fallen, missing the house by just centimetres.

"The light of day this morning showed that it came out roots and all. Driving to work this morning it was evident that many trees and branches were damaged in other gardens," she said.

Meanwhile, severe weather is being blamed for road closures, fallen trees and power cuts plaguing parts of the Bay of Plenty overnight.

Rotorua Lakes Council warned people this morning to take extra care in the district, particularly in rural areas and roads prone to slips and treefall.

The State Highway 33 end of Hamurana Rd at Mourea was closed due to a slip and a large tree blocking both lanes. The tree was located about 1km from the SH33 intersection.

The council stated on its website the road was still closed this morning as "it was too dangerous for contractor crews to clear last night due to falling debris".

"A check of the site this morning shows pine trees on top of the bank have been completely uprooted and fallen across the road with some minor slip debris. Crews are already on site and will work to clear the road today and get it re-opened as soon as possible but it remains closed at this time."


At Te Akau Rd at Okere Falls, two trees blocked half the road and contractors who tidied the area for traffic yesterday were expected to return today to fully clean up. The council also received a report of a large sign which had blown off a building and landed on Ranolf St.

About 850 homes in Pukehina, Te Puke, Ōropi, and Tauranga were still without power this morning.

Wind speeds of up to 80km/h were recorded in the Bay last night, with Rotorua seeing most of the heavy rain, according to MetService.

Meteorologist Melissa Oosterwijk said a frontal system passing through the Bay of Plenty overnight could have been the cause of strong winds in the region.

Oosterwijk said Rotorua had 19mm of rain and 6.6mm was recorded in Tauranga in the past 12 hours.

The heaviest downpour was recorded in Rotorua at about 10pm, when 6.4mm of rain fell in just one hour.

Strong northerly winds reached speeds of up to 50km/h in the Bay of Plenty, with gusts of up to 70km to 80km/h.

Oosterwijk said the heavy wind and rain was expected to ease by this afternoon, however, a few showers were expected throughout the morning.

"Tomorrow is looking more settled and it should be mostly sunny, with some sun this afternoon," she said.

MetService meteorologist Bill Singh said a "very strong" southerly change was making its way up the country today.

The wildest weather was in store for central areas and the east coast.

Northern parts of the North Island would continue to experience strong winds this morning, before easing this afternoon as a ridge of high pressure moved in.

Auckland would see a few showers this morning clearing by midday, with strong southwesterlies easing and a high of 19C.

On Tuesday a ridge of high pressure would lie over the North Island, while another cold front moved on to the South Island from the southwest, weakening over central and northern New Zealand on Wednesday.

An unsettled west to southwest flow would follow the front, with potential for more rain and strong winds.

Today's weather


A few morning showers, then increasing fine spells. Strong southwest easing from afternoon. 20C high, 10C overnight.


A few showers clearing midday, then increasing fine spells. Strong southwest easing from afternoon. 19C high, 9C overnight.


Showers easing morning, then clearing by early afternoon. Strong southwesterly easing. 18C high, 3C overnight.


Showers easing morning, then becoming fine early afternoon. Strong southwesterly easing. 20C high, 7C overnight.

New Plymouth Showers gradually clearing morning, becoming fine afternoon. Strong southwesterlies, easing from midday. 18C high, 8C overnight.

Napier A few showers mid morning with a strong southwest change, then clearing afternoon and winds easing. 20C high, 4C overnight.

Whanganui Showers, possibly heavy this morning with a strong southerly change. Gradually clearing from late morning as winds ease. 19C high, 6C overnight.

Wellington Showers, possibly heavy as winds change gale southerly, gusts to 100km​/​h in exposed places. Clearing afternoon as winds ease. 16C high, 9C overnight.

Nelson Morning cloud and a few showers, then fine. Southwesterlies easing morning. 17C high, 8C overnight.

Christchurch Rain clearing this morning then fine. Strong southerlies, gale about Banks Peninsula with possible gusts to 100km​/​h, gradually dying out. 15C high, 2C overnight.

Dunedin Cloudy periods, isolated morning showers. Strong southwesterlies, gradually easing. 12C high, 7C overnight.