Wintry blast brings New Zealand’s South Island to a standstill

July 24, 2011NEW ZEALAND — Flights out of the South Island have been badly disrupted with flights from Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown cancelled this morning. Flights at Invercargill airport were experiencing delays. Meanwhile, 200 people were stranded in a hall north of Dunedin this morning. Dunedin police said the group were staying warm with hot tea and coffee after getting stuck in snow on State Highway 1. Police said this morning that Christchurch residents should avoid any unnecessary travel. Conditions were “slippery and treacherous”, and the hill suburbs were closed, police warned. A Christchurch City Council spokeswoman said crews had been working on the roads until late last night and resumed early this morning. Power was cut to parts of Christchurch, with homes in Belfast, Spencerville and Marshland without power since 11.43pm last night, a spokeswoman for Lines Company Orion said. Crews were working to restore power in those areas as soon as possible. Power had been restored in Sumner, Yaldhurst and Governors Bay. Snow has also fallen in parts of the North Island with residents in Taranaki and parts of the lower North Island also waking to snow. Eltham woman Debbie Sheehy said she couldn’t believe it when she peered out of her bedroom window. “It’s the heaviest snow I’ve ever seen in Eltham.” The MetService expected snow to keep falling in Canterbury until about 3pm, with 30cm falls expected to about 200 metres. Student Alison Grant, from Riccarton, looked outside her window and couldn’t help but gasp. “Wow so much snow, wow” she said. “There is a lot of snow, ankle-deep at least. It’s still going really quite hard.” She was planning to spend the day enjoying the snow outside as the university was closed, she said. “I played outside last night as well. I’m going to enjoy the snow while it lasts. It’s the first time I’ve seen snow like this,” she said. Sarah Joynson, from Redwood, was up early and also went outside to enjoy the snow, and said friends had done the same. “We don’t have snow like this ever.” –
contribution Luisport
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2 Responses to Wintry blast brings New Zealand’s South Island to a standstill

  1. Gen says:

    Christchurch we are with you in our hearts and our prayers.


  2. marigold says:

    There is heaps and heaps of snow and it is still falling heavy . The kids are having a great time and we are warm – just hope that everyone else stays warm too – there was even thunder earlier


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