Thunder bolts and lightning hit Dannevirke.
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One person was injured after a tree was hit by lightning in Dannevirke this afternoon amid wild weather that hit parts of the North Island.
Some orchardists in Hawke’s Bay are also anxious to find out if the cloudburst damaged flowers ahead of the annual Blossom Festival, with more heavy rain forecast for the rest of the week.
Fire and Emergency confirmed one person was injured, but could not clarify whether the person’s injuries were from being struck by lightning or a tree that had fallen.
The Chief Fire Officer of the Dannevirke Volunteer Fire Brigade, Pete Sinclaire, said it appeared a hitchhiker was sheltering under the tree.
He said the person didn’t have any burn marks. They may have been injured by bark as it blew off the tree, he said.
St John took the injured person to Palmerston North Hospital.
“The peal of thunder made me jump (and I love thunder) and I did see a flame as well,” said one nearby resident who witnessed the lightning strike.
“[It was] loud enough to make anyone jump. I’m hoping the hurt person is okay.”
Amid forecasts for hail, thunder and lightning and 25-40mm rain in some areas on Wednesday, there was hail and heavy rain to the south through Dannevirke and the Tararua District.
There was also late afternoon hail in the Hastings area varying from stones the size of small rocks in the Bridge Pā area to the west to 5-6cm of white on the ground around Havelock North in the east,
The Dannevirke Volunteer Fire Brigade answered four calls within 15 minutes from 3.19pm to 3.34pm.
By 5pm there was little sign of the storms touching Napier, with the temperature still over 16C, compared with a nationwide high at the time of 18.4C in Kerikeri in the north, and a low of 7.1C in Canterbury town Methven.