The NZ Transport Agency advises drivers of additional road closures in the North and South Islands and urges people to delay trips until the severe weather has passed. High winds mean that drivers of high-sided vehicles, towing caravans or driving campervans should stay put, well out of the wind.
Recent closures since 5.30 pm today, include:
All drivers travelling from Picton to Christchurch need to take the Lewis Pass route via Waipara and St Arnaud.
SH6 Rocks Road in Nelson remains open, and is being monitored closely. Wind is increasing in the area and conditions will be assessed throughout the evening. The road will be closed if conditions deteriorate eg storm surges either side of high tide later tonight (high tide is at 2 am Wednesday).
Drivers are urged to delay travel if possible until the heavy rain and strong winds have passed. High winds are especially challenging for drivers of caravans, campervans, high sided vehicles and motorbikes.
NZ Transport Agency Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says 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 drive to the conditions during severe weather:
“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)(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 www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings (external link)(external link). For emergency and disaster updates visit www.civildefence.govt.nz(external link)(external link)
For Central North Island
For South Island