Stormy weekend

Although gardens tell us it is Spring, the weather does not feel like Spring at the moment.

A storm hit many parts of New Zealand today bringing heavy rain, strong winds, and snow on mountain passes. The storm may continue tomorrow although the weather should start to improve later in the day.

Many rivers could rise very fast and cause floods. One bridge in Canterbury is closed because of worries about rising river levels.

In Auckland, high winds damaged trees, roofs of houses and broke windows.

On the Milford Highway, a large land slide has blocked the road. This is the only road in and out of Milford Sound. Twenty-one tourists are in a lodge at Milford Sound and cannot get out. When the weather improves, it may be possible to fly these people out in small planes. The land slip on the highway is about 200m long and will take several days to clear. This is a very remote part of New Zealand. It is a long way from towns. Some machinery for moving rocks will probably come from Christchurch and that could take two or three days.


• mountain pass – a lower part between two mountains where people can cross from one side to the other side
• river levels – when the water level is high, it could rise over the river banks and flood the land
• land slide – the land slides down the mountain or hill; also called a land slip
• lodge – accommodation
• remote – far from cities or towns

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