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Cyclone Gita update: State Highway 6 closed from Westport to Rapahoe (north of Greymouth)

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The NZ Transport Agency is advising motorists that State Highway 6 from Westport to Rapahoe (north of Greymouth) has been closed due to flooding and strong winds. The road is expected to remain closed overnight, with a further assessment to be made tomorrow morning.

A detour route is available via SH6, SH69 and SH7, but drivers are urged to delay travel if possible until the heavy rain and strong winds affecting the area have passed. High winds are especially challenging for drivers of caravans, campervans, high sided vehicles and motorbikes.

SH1 north and south of Kaikoura remains closed due to heavy rain and the risk of slips and rockfalls.

Route 70, the inland road via Waiau remains open for road access to Kaikoura. While crews will aim to keep it open as long as possible, drivers are urged to delay all but essential trips in the area until the severe weather has passed.

All drivers travelling from Picton to Christchurch are advised to take the Lewis Pass route via Waipara and St Arnaud.

SH6 Rocks Road in Nelson remains open, and is being monitored closely. Conditions will be assessed throughout the day and the road will be closed if conditions deteriorate.

NZ Transport Agency Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says while most roads remain open, driving conditions will be difficult in affected areas, and more roads may be closed at short notice for safety reasons, with the possibility of slips, rockfalls, flooding and coastal inundation.

Drivers are urged to keep a close eye on the latest road conditions and MetService forecasts before travelling.

“We’re working closely with MetService, local authorities, and the Civil Defence network in preparation for any impacts on the transport network and we’re planning for the likelihood of road closures.”

If delaying travel is not an option, it’s important that motorists to drive to the conditions during severe weather:

  • Reduce driving speeds
  • Increase following distances
  • Be alert to the possibility of surface flooding, fallen trees and debris

“Vehicles need three times more stopping distance in wet, while high-sided vehicles and motorbikes are more susceptible to tipping over in high winds.

“The Transport Agency wants everyone to be safe on the roads during Gita, so it’s important to keep updated on the latest forecasts and travel information before deciding to travel.”

All current road closures and warnings will be updated in real time during the storm event at http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/(external link), and drivers can also call 0800 44 44 49 for 24/7 updates on road conditions, closures or delays.

The latest severe weather information is available at http://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings(external link).

For emergency and disaster updates visit www.civildefence.govt.nz(external link).

Social media updates

For Central North Island

https://twitter.com/NZTACNI
(external link)
https://www.facebook.com/nztacni/(external link)

For Wellington

https://twitter.com/NZTAWgtn
(external link)
https://www.facebook.com/nztawgtn/(external link)

For South Island

https://twitter.com/NZTACWC(external link) 
https://www.facebook.com/nztasouthisland(external link)/

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