People need to avoid travel through Southland and Central Otago today, says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
“People should not be out on flooded roads today or overnight. If you have an essential journey, you will need to build in extra time and please be informed of what might be ahead of you,” says Nicole Felts, Journey Manager for Otago and Southland for Waka Kotahi.
Snow is also forecast for the Canterbury Plains and high country into this weekend, making journeys much slower and drivers need to travel informed and prepared.
Key places to check:
Several roads and highway closed yesterday and overnight have since reopened. The Milford Sound route, SH94, reopened at 1 pm today.
MetService has a heavy rain watch over Otago and the Canterbury Plains.
The most significant highway closure is near Makarora, south of the Haast Pass, however there are multiple slips along SH6 north of Lake Hawea. This route to the West Coast will be closed this weekend with an update midday Monday. Crews will tackle the slips from each side this weekend. The closure point now starts at Lake Hawea with snow falling currently.
SH80 into Mt Cook/ Aoraki, closed yesterday due to a fire is now closed due to heavy snowfall (see below). (It has been open this morning.)
In the Gore District area, please drive with caution on SH94 near the Otamita Stream area, there is surface flooding which is increasing.
Due to flooding on both state highways and local Southland District Council roads, there is no alternative route from Invercargill to Winton (unless travelling via Mataura). We ask people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.