Wind storm downs trees, damages homes in Clyde
GOLF is off the cards at the Dunstan club’s course for the next few days.
Wild winds blew over 28 trees at the Clyde golf course yesterday and it would take ‘‘a few days’’ to assess the damage and clear the course, Dunstan Golf Club president Jim Page, who was philosophical about the destruction, said.
‘‘The damage is what it is. We’ll just clear it and resoil and resow. But there’s a lot of golfers who won’t mind losing the trees. We’ll have a much clearer course now.’’
Clyde bore the brunt of the wind storm that struck Central Otago yesterday morning. Other trees were blown over around the town, roofs were lifted off about six houses, windows were blown in, a garage blown off its foundations and a caravan blown over.
Electricity was cut for a time and several streets in Clyde and a portion of Earnscleugh Rd were also closed for a period due to the risk of trees falling. There were also reports a small tornado had ripped through a Clyde backyard.
MetService forecaster Cameron Coutts said gusts of just over 100kmh were recorded in Alexandra shortly after 3am yesterday. The strongest was 115kmh.
As well as attending weather callouts in Clyde, fire crews were also sent to a small fire caused by arcing power lines in Clyde, and to callouts in Alexandra and a rolled vehicle near Cromwell.
Winds reaching almost 100kmh also caused the closure of Treble Cone and Cardrona skifields.
The weather caused some minor damage around Clyde Primary School, which was in lockdown yesterday morning.
Principal Doug White said there was little disruption to learning, but staying indoors was the safest option for pupils while there were strong winds and debris flying around.
‘‘We had the kids locked down in the classrooms while the wind was beating through. We’re used to weather events and the first priority is keeping the kids safe.’’
Parents were kept informed of the situation by an app and via the school’s website, he said.
Some trees and fences had fallen at the school but it was relatively unscathed, Mr White said.
The Clyde playcentre was shut after a neighbouring house seemed set to lose its roof, he said.
In Earnscleugh, Bungo Lodge cherry orchard owners Shelley and Peter Hall had eight telephone polesized posts, which were anchored in concrete, toppled or snapped over in the storm.
Large areas of netting were torn from wiring and ripped and several heavy metal posts were bent.
They have 600 cherry trees and Mrs Hall was thankful they were in bud and had yet to blossom.
‘‘Thank goodness it happened now as we would have been stuffed in another two months,’’ she said.
They were waiting to hear from their insurance company if they were covered for the ‘‘act of God’’ event, and expected repairs to be in the thousands of dollars.
In addition, a man who had been towing two portaloos on a trailer came up their driveway looking for one of them, which he had last seen flying over a tree on to their property.
A roof blown off a house in Fache St in Clyde.
Shelley Hall, of Earnscleugh, assesses damage to netting support poles on her and her husband Peter’s 3ha cherry orchard during the high winds yesterday morning.
Dunstan Golf Course president Jim Page (left) and club captain John Richards inspect one of the trees that fell during the severe winds in Clyde yesterday.
A caravan is blown off its wheels on Sunderland St, Clyde, and a roof blown off on Fache St, Clyde in wind damage yesterday.