High winds cause havoc

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 02 Juli 2013 | 19.55

CATASTROPHE: The catamaran is smashed to pieces at Opossum Bay. Picture: SAM ROSEWARNE

WILD weather kept emergency services busy yesterday as winds ripped off roofs, downed power lines and tore boats from their moorings.

Extreme wind gusts are set to continue this week with 80-90km/h gusts predicted for today, easing a little tomorrow and Thursday and returning on Friday with temperatures plummeting to 6C and snow predicted for Mt Wellington and the Central Highlands.

A severe weather warning of winds up to 100km/h was issued by the Weather Bureau at 9.30am yesterday but emergency services were shocked at the ferocity of the gusts.

"I think it took everyone by surprise," Tasmania Police radio room sergeant Nick Cooper said.

The Weather Bureau's meteorologist Vicky Lucas said Maatsuyker Island had the highest wind gust of 133km/h, Mt Wellington was close behind with 131km/h and Hobart city recorded a gust of 98km/h.

"It's not a week for wearing skirts," Ms Lucas said.

Boats lost their moorings at Geilston Bay and Old Beach and one boat owner, who did not want to be identified, was forced to standby and watch his large catamaran smashed against the rocks of a narrow cove north of Opossum Bay.

"It's heart-wrenching when you lose a boat," the middle-aged man said.

A member of the public also reported that a yacht was flattened by a shipping container at the Brighton Industrial Estate.

The Mercury was told the owner parked the $30,000 boat on a trailer attached to a 4WD in a space between three stacks of shipping containers three levels high to protect the boat from getting scratched.

One of the containers was blown over in the wind and landed on the boat, flattening it.

No one was injured in the incident.

The whole of the Northern Suburbs went off the power grid just after 12.30pm when a large piece of iron roofing torn from a factory in Sunderland St, Moonah, smashed into powerlines.

Aurora workers and SES were forced to wait until the winds died down before they could retrieve the roofing and restore power.

Police took over intersections at major junctions along the Brooker Highway until power was partially restored two hours later.

About 3600 Derwent Park, Goodwood, Moonah and Otago Bay customers, 1200 Sandy Bay and Lower Sandy Bay customers and 800 Howrah customers lost power.

Street lights were still out in Moonah, Lutana, Derwent Park, New Town and Cornelian Bay at 7pm last night.

About 20 commercial customers were still without power in Moonah.

Aurora crews worked until midnight restoring powerlines.

Coogans Furniture in Main St, Moonah, lost part of its roofing.

Emergency services were kept busy into the afternoon when a large tree blocked half a lane on the East Derwent Highway at Old Beach and two cars collided on the eastern approach to the Tasman Bridge.

Live power outage information is available on Aurora's website or its Twitter feed.

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