Stratford residents are being warned to prepare for more wild weather this afternoon, after a morning of thunder, lightening and torrential rain.

Powerco has asked customers in the Taranaki, Whanganui, South Waikato and Coromandel areas to brace themselves for high winds and heavy rain from Tuesday afternoon.

Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said an approaching storm was due to affect those areas from 3pm Tuesday until 3am Wednesday.

"Winds up to 120km are expected so any loose objects are certain to become airborne," he said.


Trampolines, outdoor furniture and other heavy items should be securely fixed to the ground.

With the weather already on the wild side this morning, residents of the Maryann Village in Stratford had a lucky escape when a mini tornado swept through the village, says AgeCare Central CEO, Neil Volzke.

Neil, who is also the district mayor, says the mini tornado swept through the Maryann Village this morning, picking up a neighbouring shed and dropping it into the village.

"One building has a hole in the wall and another has a broken window as a result," says Neil.

No-one was hurt in the incident, and staff are cleaning up the damage.

Earlier this morning a tornado tore through the Taranaki town of Rahotu, tearing up trees, lifting roofs and taking down power lines.

More than 4500 lightening strikes have hit Taranaki this morning.

Some schools and early childhood centres have closed in the region. Currently Pembroke Primary, Kaponga Primary, Opunake High School, St Joseph's Hawera, St Joseph's Opunake and Opunake Communities Kindergarten Incorporated are closed for the day.

Parents are advised to check school or early childhood service websites or Facebook pages or contact them directly.

The decision to close remains that of the Board of Trustees for schools and Centre Managers/Owners for Early Learning services.