Wellingtons south coast braces for 8m swells, residents evacuated

Wellington’s south coast residents are bracing for huge waves similar to those which have previously smashed windows and inundated their homes with water.

Mayor Andy Foster has declared a local state of emergency with the potential for eight-metre-high swells this evening.

Breaker Bay residents have been told to evacuate by 6pm, before the situation turns dangerous for residents and emergency services.

Affected properties are those on Breaker Bay Rd between numbers 53 and 194.

Meanwhile, Owhiro Bay resident Kristen Meads told the Herald she has put sandbags across all four doors to her house, including the cat flap.

She has removed all the pots from her front yard and stacked her outdoor furniture so it can’t be moved around in any water.

Her treasured succulents are on top of the woodshed.

The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) has advised swells will be at their heaviest at 9pm tonight.

Meads said she felt more prepared for the storm this time compared to when huge waves struck in April last year, when she had no warning.

“I was standing at the kitchen counter looking out when the wave actually hit, it went over the house and it went all around the side of the house.”

Water then came gushing through under the doors.

“Our garage door was basically like a pretzel inside of the garage, the force of the water was just insane”, Meads said.

“You can never know what water’s going to do, it’s really powerful.

“Our friends’ window was smashed in last time and that would be my biggest fear I think.”

Meads said she was watching Friends tonight to pass the time.

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