Weather: Antarctic polar explosion sweeps through New Zealand, huge waves hit the coast of Wellington

Raw power and frozen beauty as a polar explosion hits New Zealand. Video / George Heard

Latest weather
* Snowfall, thick seas, and freezing temperatures with a polar sweep of a northerly blast
*State of emergency declared in Wellington with waves up to 6.5m overnight
* High tides are set to hit damaged bays on the southern coast of the capital at 9.22 am
* Auckland endures one of the coldest nights of years, with temperatures dropping as low as 1 degree Celsius
* The desert road was closed due to snow and ice across the state highway network in the South Island
* Cook Strait Ferries, some flights canceledغيت

Emergency officials are now meeting to assess any nighttime damage from waves up to 6.5m that were expected to hit the Wellington coast overnight.

As the day approaches in the capital, authorities are warning that massive waves overnight – “permanent high tide” – are likely to pose a threat until the next high tide before 9:30 a.m.

Officials say the homes appear to have escaped damage from the extreme elevations of Wellington’s south coast, although waves breaking across the road continued to throw stones and driftwood at them.

However, civil defense observer Derek Baxter said RNZ personnel from about 20 homes in Breaker Bay refused to leave, which was incredibly disappointing.

About 140 homes were evacuated yesterday in Breaker Bay on the south coast of Wellington, with waves up to 6.5m over seawalls and residential property. Police set up barricades on both ends of the line of houses.

“As of 5 a.m. today, the Wellington City Council road team advised that they saw an overrun in the area of ​​Breaker Bay, Ohiro Bay and Moa Point and were clearing rubble,” said Jeremy Holmes, Wellington Regional Department of Civil Defense chief.

Part of the road between Happy Valley Road and Red Rocks was also closed.

“The main message is that the threat of extreme highs around the south coast of Wellington and Wairarapa is not over yet,” Holmes told Newstalk. “A high tide is expected around 9.30am today and residents should stay off the coast until the threat subsides,” Holmes told Newstalk. ZB.

“People should stay away from the water so they don’t put themselves at risk.”

He also warned people to stay away from flood waters until any damage to the roads could be assessed.

Cordons will remain in place at Breaker Bay this morning. A civil defense meeting at 7 a.m. will assess any damages that occurred during the night and the latest meteorological service information.

“Evidence is that it’s going up…we’re seeing an increase in wave level energy and that’s what we’ve been dealing with. We’ve been watching this since it impacted the south coast yesterday.”

MetService forecaster Gerard Bellam said waves as high as 10 meters were recorded at a buoy off Ohiro Bay on the south coast of Wellington overnight.

The Baring Head buoy at the harbor entrance continued to measure waves between 6-8 metres, while the Taputiranga Marine Reserve buoy recorded waves from 6.1 to 10 metres.

He warned that Eastbourne Road is also at risk as it is close to sea level where waves wash away and leave debris on the road.

“Unfortunately, that will coincide with when people are on the road for most of this morning,” Bellam said.

The severe bloating warning remained in effect until 11pm.

Giant waves crashed over seawalls on the south coast of Wellington last night – dumping debris and mist – after dozens of families fled their homes under emergency evacuation orders.

Five families asked for help staying overnight.

The worst effect was likely to be felt until 3 am and the extent of the damage would not be clear until the first light of this morning.

Authorities declared a local emergency yesterday afternoon and warned that waves up to 6.5 meters – set to hit parts of the capital and Wairarapa last night – posed a “significant danger” to life and property.

Police have set up checkpoints around Breaker Bay and will maintain a presence overnight to protect vacant properties from potential looting.

The massive waves on the south coast of Wellington were expected to peak around 9pm last night.  Photo/Mark Mitchell
The massive waves on the south coast of Wellington were expected to peak around 9pm last night. Photo/Mark Mitchell

The high tides came as an Antarctic blast swept the country, closing roads and forcing the cancellation of flights and ferry services yesterday.

Meanwhile, many in other parts of the country will wake up from “one of the coldest nights of the year.” MetService said temperatures dropped below 0 degrees Celsius in Auckland overnight.

In addition to the chilling temperatures, the wild weather has dumped snow as far north as the Bay of Plenty and brought torrential rain, hail and violent winds to Auckland.

The desert road remains closed due to snow and ice all night. Snow flashes have been recorded

In Wellington, roadblocks were erected on the south coast where waves were expected to be badly damaged, to prevent spectators from getting too close.

Approaching the ring at Breaker Bay last night.  Photo/Jack Crossland
Approaching the ring at Breaker Bay last night. Photo/Jack Crossland

All you can see from the summit of Breaker Bay are the whites of the crashing waves, said Jack Crossland, a Newstalk ZB reporter.

“When I jumped out of the car, you could barely stand on two legs.”

Eugene Doyle, a resident of Ohiro Bay, said a cordon was thrown at the intersection of Ohiro Bay Parade and Happy Valley Road last night.

Derek Baxter, Wellington City Council Civil Defense Superintendent, said he saw 10 cars in the Ohiro Bay collar that shouldn’t be there.

“It’s getting exciting in the evening to stand in a bay and turn on your headlights and see if you can use it like a flash to get a great picture that doesn’t help us or the emergency services.”

Baxter said authorities knocked on every door inside the Breaker Bay cordon last night, and some people chose not to evacuate.

As residents piled sandbags at the doors yesterday, memories of the devastation caused by the massive swell in April 2020 are back.

Uhuru Bay resident Kristen Meads put sandbags on all four of her house doors, including the cat flap, removed all utensils from her front yard and placed her outdoor furniture.

Snow on New Brighton Beach, Christchurch, yesterday morning.  Photography / Julian Litt
Snow on New Brighton Beach, Christchurch, yesterday morning. Photography / Julian Litt

Her cherished succulents were on top of the wood shed.

Meads said she felt more prepared for this year’s storm than when massive waves hit in April last year, swept through her house, water spurting out from under the doors.

“Our garage door was basically like a cob inside the garage, and the power of the water was crazy,” Meads said.

“Our friends’ window was smashed last time, and that would be my biggest fear.”

Properties on Breaker Bay Road between 53 and 194 have been vacated, and Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean has estimated that at least 200 people have been affected.

Meteorologists said the worst waves would accompany the high tide on the coast just before 9 p.m. last night. They warned that large waves would continue to hit the southern coast at high tide this morning and evening.

Yesterday, two kayaks paddled near the Marines in Wellington on a rescue mission – but the men said they were not in danger and were in very similar circumstances.

However, the decision left the city’s mayor confused.

It’s kind of like, ‘What on Earth have you been thinking,’ Andy Foster said.

Breaker Bay resident Heidi Baringer was driving one of her daughters to gymnastics when her mobile phone lit up with messages asking if she was OK and talking about eviction.

“We quickly turned our car around and decided as a family that we definitely needed to [be] We were evacuated so we packed our bags.”

The family stayed with their friends at Seton last night.

Barringer said she panicked at first while her daughters were excited.

“But we’ve been living in Breaker Bay for about 12 years now and this has happened a few times. We’ve only been evacuated once before we pose an earthquake and tsunami risk, but we’ve been in storms before.

“I think they probably got a little panicked from us and then they did it [my daughters] We were starting to get a little scared and worried about how long we were going and whether the house would be okay. “

Barrenger “opened a red bottle” when she was safely in Seaton.

A tree has been blown away by high winds on Ararimo Road, south of Auckland.  Photo/John O'Leary
A tree has been blown away by high winds on Ararimo Road, south of Auckland. Photo/John O’Leary

The polar eruption dumped snow in several parts of the country yesterday, closing roads – including Desert Road, Highway 2 near Gisborne, and SH87 on the South Island between Capeburn and Outram.

Canceled – including 29 flights in and out of the capital’s airport alone.

All Interislander flights are canceled today.

Aucklanders shivered during one of the coldest nights of the year as MetService predicted the mercury would drop to 1°C in Pukekohe and Papakura this morning.

Hikes across most of the country yesterday were number one – Waiouru crawls the desert road up to 2C, while Te Anau, Queenstown and Masterton score 5C.

Air New Zealand planes were covered in snow yesterday morning.  Photos / Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand planes were covered in snow yesterday morning. Photos / Air New Zealand

Mmathapelo Makgabutlane’s MetService meteorologist said there were reports of snow as far north as Whakatāne yesterday while parts of Southland were covered in 15cm of snow and ice that covered New Brighton Beach.

MacGabotlan said there is a trend in the coming days. While the kiwi still needs to finish, especially to withstand the cold early morning temperatures, a high pressure regime was coming in from Thursday which stabilized conditions in much of the country.

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