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Gigantic storm hits New Zealand

17:00 Fri Sep 17 2010
Snow is set to dump

The huge storm hitting New Zealand is already causing chaos for emergency services in the Hutt Valley north of Wellington.

The power is out, trees and sheds are on fire and more than 100 lightning strikes have been recorded in the Hutt Valley and Kapiti Coast in the past two hours, according to media reports.

New Zealanders are being warned to brace for the storm, which the New Zealand Herald described as "one of the biggest storms on the planet".

The worst of the storm has hit on the West Coast and Southern Alps where heavy rain is falling, with snow down to 200 metres in places.

Visit the New Zealand Transport agency for updates on road conditions.

Later this afternoon a storm front is expected to hit entire the North Island.

Heavy rain and winds of up to 130km/h are expected.

The wild weather is expected to bring extreme conditions over the next 48 hours.

New Zealanders are being warned to stay away from the beaches as the storm hits.

Check the latest weather updates.

Is the storm wreaking havoc where you are? Post your comments below

Have you got photos from the massive storm? Send them to us

User comments
Hope this goes to you without a problem Take care mum
Hope you get this o k
its been a lovely these past days and now too in gizzy. cant believe there is a storm causing caos in nz!
WIll it effect me in Hamilton
There was alot of rain overnight, but has since ceased.
Hardly noticed any change from normal, some showers , little to no wind,partly cloudy.
rained in cbd Friday, but winds didn't get too strong, still able to put my brollie up, not cold enough for an overcoat. Sat morn, sun trying to get through, breeze, but probably won't last? Maybe Wellington is in the eye...
I say blame earthquake, and blame the NOW for causing it.
our 2m tree just fell down and its just 9.55And we are scared because we have 2 large 24M trees at the back of our house and are hopping they survive the storm
A report about a "storm the size of Australia to hit NZ" was posted in the NZ Herald Wed 15th evening over the internet. My question is - what part of "storm the size of Australia" don't we comprehend? I watched the TV3 News coverage from Sydney this evening (Fri 17th) only to find that a report about a demented politician took more presidence over a storm that could potentially destroy a lot of Kiwi homes and lives. Actually the storm news featured 5th and lasted all of 30 sec after all the other nonsense. Go figure? You also have to ask questions when ex-pat Kiwis all around the world are contacting families in NZ about the storm and their response is "what STORM???".... Mainstream media just keeps dropping the ball.. What constitutes BREAKING NEWS in NZ now days??