Friday, 16 February 2018

Cyclone Gita may be headed for Wellington

Here comes Gita! Wellingtonians told to brace for heavy rain, huge swells and high winds
Wellingtonians are being urged to prepare as the remnants of Cyclone Gita makes its way over to New Zealand, after unleashing havoc on Tonga and Samoa.

16 February, 2018

Cyclone Gita, packing 100km/h winds and heavy rain, is taking dead aim at New Zealand - but where will it hit?

Gary O'Meara of Wellington Water said they are checking culverts and drains that could get blocked, with crews ready to jump into action on Monday, as heavy rain and wind is predicted to lash the capital.

The good news, it's a fine weekend for most, before Gita bares its teeth on Tuesday

"Check and clear your gutters and drains, and have a look at the street drain nearest your house. Clear any litter or leaf debris. A blockage here can end up creating a major problem," Mr O'Meara said.

"Back in November 2016, just after the Kaikoura earthquake, heavy rain closed both State highways, highway 58 and the rail network. At the same time, we had schools closing and parents trying to pick up children, along with service crews trying to help out. It was mayhem.

"It may not happen, and that would be great, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared."

MetService said Gita was weakening, and at 3pm yesterday it was located near Fiji.

It said in a statement Gita will turn into an "intense mid-latitude low" before it reaches New Zealand.

"But it will still be a significant and potentially dangerous system bringing heavy rain, gale- to storm-force winds over a large area, large waves/swell and storm surge."

"Local impacts are highly dependent on the track it takes, but it is likely to be a high-impact event which will most likely affect many regions across the North Island and upper South Island."

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