Wild weather: Wellington state of emergency ends, residents begin clean-up

The state of emergency in Wellington’s Breaker Bay has ended this afternoon as the swells from yesterday’s southerly storm subside.

Last night residents on the southern coast Wellington had to evacuate from their homes due to surging seawater.

While the residents have been allowed back to their properties, motorists and pedestrians are urged to continue to take care on roads around Wellington’s south coast.

Contractors are continuing work to clear up debris left on roadways and footpaths last night and this morning.

Residents of Owhiro Bay Parade say they got off lightly, and the damage was nowhere near as bad as last April, or the weather event of 2013.

Jo Bushe said the waves were coming from a different direction this time, but there were still four or five low-lying homes that may have been affected.

Sandbags and boards could still be seen on homes on Owhiro Bay Parade, used to prepare for the impact of last night’s forecasted swells.

Resident Dave Shoemack said it had been a windy night, but probably worse at about this time yesterday.

“It was good this time because there was a lot of warning,” he said.

“A lot of people put up the boardings this time.” He didn’t believe there was any real damage to his section of the street.

Fellow resident Kristen Meads said debris such as sand, pebbles and seaweed had blown up onto their driveway, however it wasn’t as bad as last year.

Meads said that no large objects such as logs or driftwood had come onto their property and that from what she knew no other houses were damaged.

“Most of us had a little bit of water in our front yard, I think one house [had] water come up to their front door but no damage like last year at all.”

She said she’s thankful for the work the community has done.

“We make sure we are checking in on each other and helping each other out with any necessary preparations and keeping each other informed.”

The flow of information from council relating to the event has been better than other incidents in the past Meads said.

Earlier: Southerly swells hammer coast

Earlier today large southerly 6.5m swells had pummeled the shoreline, with forecasters revealed they were dwarfed by a towering 15m wave which came crashing onto the Baring Head buoy at the entrance to Wellington Harbour last night.

After surveying the overnight damage Baxter said he was taking a precautionary approach to the emergency as swells continued to roll in along the capital’s southern coast.

Owhiro Bay Parade to the west of the bridge would also remain closed to all but residents’ traffic this morning while the roadway was cleared.

Relieved residents of Owhiro Bay Parade returned home this morning, saying they got off lightly, and the damage was nowhere near as bad as last April, or the weather event of 2013.

Sandbags and boards could still be seen on homes on Owhiro Bay Parade, used to prepare for the impact of last night’s forecasted swells.

Owhiro Bay Resident Dave Shoemack said it had been a windy night, but probably worse at about this time yesterday.

“It was good this time because there was a lot of warning,” he said.

“A lot of people put up the boardings this time.”

He didn’t believe there was any real damage to his section of the street.

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