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Heavy rain coming – drivers on alpine passes, be prepared

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Heavy rain is expected in parts of the South Island, in particular State Highways 7 and 73 (Lewis Pass and Arthur’s Pass) today and through the weekend to Monday, 3 July.

The MetService has issued a severe weather rain warning(external link) for the Nelson and Buller areas as well as Canterbury river headwaters and lakes from midday today.  More than 100mm is likely to fall.

Drivers are advised that the heavy rain is likely to cause challenging driving conditions on the Lewis Pass, reduced visibility and it may produce localised surface flooding and slips.

North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Journey Manager, Tresca Forrester says it is important for drivers to take extreme care and drive to the conditions during wet weather.

“Wet roads can be very slippery, and visibility on the road across the alpine passes can be difficult in heavy rain. Drivers need to follow at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. In winter, especially in poor weather, double the two-second rule to ensure a safe distance between you and the car in front,” Ms Forrester says.

“It’s also a good idea to check your car before you head across the passes or on longer journeys, as effective brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers, lights and steering are crucial in wet weather.”

Ms Forrester noted that the rain on Saturday could have a significant impact on roads in the Nelson and Buller regions, affecting travel north and west of Christchurch via the State Highway 7 route.

Rain is forecast to continue into Sunday, mainly in the Nelson and Buller regions.

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