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Heavy rain warning prompts call to drive to the conditions

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is asking motorists to drive to the conditions and watch out for surface flooding, slips and fallen trees, with MetService issuing a Heavy Rain Watch for the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel Peninsula.

Periods of heavy rain are forecast for the Coromandel Peninsula between 3am and 12 noon tomorrow, and for the Bay of Plenty, away from the eastern ranges between 5am and 3pm. Further rain is possible on Thursday night.

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations Rob Campbell urged motorists to take care and avoid unnecessary travel.

“Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly and there is a chance we may need to close some roads.

“Expect the unexpected and remain alert. Check your intended route for hazards or disruptions before setting out using the Waka Kotahi interactive Journey Planner website and be prepared for unreported hazards.”

The MetService website is another useful resource for up-to-date weather information and forecasts.

Journey Planner website(external link)
MetService website(external link)

MetService meteorologist Angus Hines says after some rain earlier in the week, things really crank up again on Thursday. A low pressure system to the North steers a belt of heavy rain into eastern part of the North Island.

“For those in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, rain will be ramping up early on Thursday morning, so be prepared for surface flooding and poor visibility on the morning commute, with things such as slips or road closures a possibility as well.”

Wet roads can be slippery and motorists are advised to increase their following distances.

Mr Campbell says on a wet road, driving at the speed limit could be too fast for the conditions.

“You can lose control very easily in wet weather, especially if you have to brake suddenly, so slow down.”

He asks motorists to be mindful of contractors who could be out clearing hazards off the road, and drive slowly through work sites.

“We want to see everyone get home safely. Stay safe and stay alert.”

Attached: A short video clip showing forecast rain movement across the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty tomorrow (Thursday 16 September).

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