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Challenging conditions on Northland roads overnight

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The NZ Transport Agency is warning drivers to take extreme care on state highways and local roads in the Northland region for the next 24 hours because of heavy rain and strong winds.

State Highway 12 at near Maitahi north of Dargaville remains closed by floods waters after the storm earlier this week, but other state highways in the region are open.

"The situation, however, can change quickly.  Many rivers are still running high and there is a renewed risk of more flooding," says the NZTA's Regional Asset Manager, Steve Mutton. "Those driving tonight, especially in rural areas where street lighting is limited, need to be alert for debris and other hazards like branches or trees brought down by the wind."

Mr Mutton says the NZTA and its contractors are working with emergency services and local authorities to do everything they can to ensure people can travel safely.

"There's no doubt driving conditions will be challenging and journeys are going to be slower.  People need to allow more time for their journeys so that there is no need to rush, and they should obey all warning signs so that they arrive at their destinations safely."

On SH12 at Maitahi, detours via Omamari and Babylon Coast Roads, and the alternative detour on Waihue Road, will add approximately 30 minutes to travel times.  The highway will remain closed overnight.

Mr Mutton say before starting their journeys people should get updates on Northland roads by contacting 0800 111 655.  They can also check with the other NZTA freephone, 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or 0800 44 44 49, or its website www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) for traffic updates.

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