61,000 lose power as Auckland hit by fierce storm
WILD winds and heavy rain overnight has left a trail of destruction in Auckland, Northland and the Coromandel, with surface flooding, falling trees, roofs ripped off and power outages to 61,000.
One child was taken to hospital with minor injuries after a tree smashed through a roof in Manly, Whangaparaoa, about 1.10am.
But the worst is over and the storm is expected to have moved south past Auckland by 7am this morning.
Emergency services overnight were overwhelmed by more than 600 calls since midnight, while Auckland city streets are littered with debris.
A Toll truck and trailer tipped at 3am on the Harbour Bridge when the winds were at their peak. The Bridge was closed for a time but has now reopened.
Vector crews have worked throughout the night to attend to numerous faults after two huge wind blasts up to 145km/h swept through the city, one at 11pm last night and another at 1am.
Vector says crews have now restored power to 14,000 customers in the Auckland region, leaving 6000 still without power.
On the northern network, crews have restored 15,000 customers, leaving 55,000.
Spokeswoman Sandy Hodge said crews would be able to assess damage to lines in daylight.
"We have had reports of letterboxes, trampolines and even garden furniture being blown into lines, so those must be checked visually before repairs can begin."
One of the Vector crews had a lucky escape when a large tree came down next to their truck, trapping the vehicle.
The NZ Transport Agency said that access to the Auckland's Northwestern Motorway at Great North Rd is blocked because of fallen trees on Great North Rd at Waterview.
Drivers are advised to use the Rosebank Road and St Lukes Road interchanges as alternative routes to and from the motorway.
One tree was blown onto the road by high winds last night and just as contractors had cleared it, a second tree was blown down.