Wild winds and shocking sights in South Island

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Firefighters in the Canterbury region have been busy, with high winds fanning fires and blowing roofs from houses.

A spectacular snap of lightning at Ohau Snow Fields this morning.

A spectacular snap of lightning at Ohau Snow Fields this morning. Photo: Supplied / MetService/Ohau.co.nz

It took several crews to bring a large vegetation fire under control in Prebbleton this morning.

Winds gusting more than 100km/h have also lifted roofs and brought down power lines in Christchurch.

MetService has issued severe wind warnings for many areas of the South Island.

Just over 80 customers remain without power in central Canterbury this evening, mostly in small communities.

The worst hit areas are Brookside, Doyleston, Irwell, Leeston, Selwyn and Selwyn Huts, and Springston South.

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Gusts reaching more than 100 kilometres an hour lifted roofs and brought down trees onto powerlines today.

A large vegetation fire earlier caused cuts in Yaldhurst but those customers have been reconnected.

Wellington and Wairarapa could also experience high winds tonight.

There have also been dramatic lightning strikes reported, with 1300 strikes an hour across the West Coast and Southern Alps.

“An amazing capture from our webcam this morning… just in case you were wondering why we are closed today,” the Ōhau ski field wrote on its Facebook page.

Metservice forecaster Hordur Thordarson said the front bringing those lightning strikes was now weakening.

But he said there was a possibility Hawke’s Bay may get thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and evening.

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