Wind storm downs trees, dam­ages homes in Clyde

Otago Daily Times - - Front Page - PAM JONES, RE­BECCA NADGE and YVONNE O’HARA In Alexan­dra

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.

PHOTO: YVONNE O’HARA

A roof blown off a house in Fache St in Clyde.

PHOTO: YVONNE O’HARA

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.

PHOTO: PAM JONES

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.

PHOTO: YVONNE O’HARA

A car­a­van is blown off its wheels on Sunderland St, Clyde, and a roof blown off on Fache St, Clyde in wind dam­age yes­ter­day.

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