As the North Island recovers from the emergency weather impacts, Waka Kotahi is asking road users to be careful, with a period of rain forecast for the eastern regions of the North Island over the next few days.
Central North Island Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations, Jaclyn Hankin, says there is potential for this to be heavy, including in Tairāwhiti and Hawke's Bay, from midday Thursday (23 February) to midday Saturday (25 February).
"This forecast rain presents further risks to already compromised land and infrastructure. The ongoing wet weather means there is a strong likelihood of slips, rock falls, fallen trees, and localised flooding across the state highway network in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay and vulnerable sections of road may restrict travel options.
"Safety is our top priority and if we determine the risk is too great we may close sections of road in advance of the forecast weather to avoid risks for road users or people becoming isolated."
Waka Kotahi will provide an update on any weather-related road closures this afternoon, Thursday 23rd February, following further advice from Metservice.
Ms Hankin says people should avoid unnecessary travel.
"If you don't need to be on the road, don't be.
"If you need to travel, drive to the conditions, watch your speed and following distances, and ensure you are prepared for hazards on the road. Expect the unexpected.
"There's also still a lot of dust and silt on the roads, which, with some rain, could become very slippery. Please take care if you're driving in this weather."
Drivers should also check road and weather conditions before they travel.
Please note information about conditions on the state highway network can change rapidly – ensure you check the latest weather conditions with MetService, and consult the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner for the most up to date information on road closures.
For those who are unable to access the internet at this stage, please keep tuned to local radio for the latest Civil Defence advice. Local programmes are on The Breeze 97.5 and The Hits 89.5 and Civil Defence information on Newstalk ZB 96.7.
Journey Planner is updated 24/7 by Waka Kotahi traffic operations centres and is the best source of the most recent and reliable information available on state highway closures and disruptions. Remember to refresh the page when checking the status of highways to ensure that the latest updates are displayed.