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Cyclone Lusi hits NZ

UPDATE: Vector’s has reported new outages this afternoon, mostly north of Auckland.

Stanmore Bay currently has an outage affecting 1058 customers, Red Beach also has suffered from branches striking lines, 1525 customers are affected.

A Wellsford outage from this morning still has 269 customers out, crews are working on the fault.

March 15: Cyclone Lusi has hit the far north, bringing down trees with its high winds and heavy rain.

Police say many roads in the region were scattered with debris and caution was needed in particularly on SH14 between Whangarei and Dargaville. A number of trees fell onto the state highway overnight, but have now been cleared.

Vector reported multiple outages north of Auckland this morning as high winds and falling trees damaged lines, including 836 customers without power in Walkworth, 269 in Wellsford and 795 in Whangapararoa and 430 in Hobsonville, as well as 795 in Clevedon south of Auckland.

By mid-morning all but a couple of dozen customers had power restored.

MetService expects Lusi to pass just to the northwest of North Cape about midday today.

The heaviest heaviest rainfall is forecast for the Coromandel Peninsula and western Bay of Plenty, where 120 to 150mm could accumulate about the ranges during Saturday and into Sunday morning.

More than 100mm expected about the eastern hills of Northland, the ranges of eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, as well as the ranges of Hawkes Bay.

Strong winds gusting up to 120 kmh, mainly about higher ground, should ease this afternoon in Northland and evening in Auckland, MetService says.

County braces for cyclone Lusi

March 14: Tropical cyclone Lusi is heading towards New Zealand and expected to bring heavy rain, high winds and storm surges.

MetService has issued severe weather warnings for most of the North Island and Upper South island, forecasting that the category 2 tropical cyclone will hit northern New Zealand on Saturday or early Sunday, and then to track southwards over central New Zealand before moving out to sea east of the South Island on Monday.

"The heavy rain is likely to cause slips and surface flooding, and the severe easterly gales could make driving hazardous, lift roofs, and bring down trees and powerlines," warns MetService.  

MetService weather ambassador Dan Corbett says, "It's looking like quite a mean and ugly storm."  

Lusi has already wrecked havoc in Vanuatu,with three people killed by the cyclone and damage to crops widespread, according to the island's Disaster Management Office.  
 
Here in New Zealand, Civil Defence has issued an alert on  the stormy weather, and reiterated their advice on staying safe in such conditions.

Updates on Cyclone Lusi are being posted to the MetService blog, while NIWA has a history of cyclones near NZ here.