Weekend winter wonderland
Porirua woke up to a winter wonderland on Monday morning, with snow blanketing the city in what has been described as a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Snow began on Sunday evening about 5pm and fell to sea level throughout the Wellington region. It continued intermittently on Monday morning, delighting many residents who had never seen snow before.
By Monday morning a heavy layer of snow had settled on the foothills behind Tawa, Porirua East, Camborne, Elsdon and Pauatahanui. A power cut on Sunday evening about 5pm affected homes in Tawa and at the top of Paekakariki Hill Rd.
The road was closed to traffic on Sunday night after conditions became too dangerous to drive, and remained closed yesterday morning.
About 10 cars were stranded on the top end of Paekakariki Hill Rd on Sunday night and were rescued by police, said Porirua Emergency Management officer Trevor Farmer.
Motorists should drive slowly and carefully, with headlights on, and avoid unnecessary trips, he advised.
People should be especially wary of power lines, which can spark and break if heavy snow-covered trees fall on them.
‘‘Don’t build a snowman under power lines, or under trees for that matter,’’ Mr Farmer said.
Tawa Community Board chairman Malcolm Sparrow said it was the first time in his 15 years in Tawa he had seen weather like this.
‘‘The floral [welcome to] Tawa sign was covered and the ground was covered all around the suburb overnight. It’s certainly got all our neighbours talking. There were people throwing snowballs and making snowmen. I think it will be a long time before we see this again.’’
Winter city: Snow blanketed the hills behind Porirua’s eastern suburbs and fell in the CBD on and off from Sunday night.
White wonder: Ally Ringrose, 13, makes a snow angel in Titahi Bay.