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TV1 News

BIG FREEZE: Roads throughout the central plateau, including the Desert Road, have just opened, as the thaw begins.

A saw mill receiving a $10 million spruce up has collapsed under the snow, leaving a small community all cut up.

Power was cut to 8000 homes in the central plateau overnight.

Ski fields are preparing for a boom weekend.

About 160 households in Taihape are still waiting for power.

About 20 truck drivers were caught out and had to spend the night in Waiuru.

Heavy rain saw the Manawatu River burst its bank, flooding farmland and stranding a mail truck. The driver clambered on to the roof of the truck before being rescued. The mail remains stuck in the food.

Nationwide, just over five percent power was saved, half the 10 per cent target. The frozen centre of the country saved nothing.

Linemen have been working flat out to get power to the households who have had their power cut off.

Weatherman Jim Hickey said a stationary low, warm moist air and a cold driving southerly combined to create ideal snow making conditions. He says the weather will improve substantially over the next day.

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