Heavy wind warnings across several South Island state highways are in place today.
These include State Highway 7, the Lewis Pass between Springs Junction and the Hanmer turnoff, State Highway 1 Kaikoura to Blenheim, State Highway 73 Springfield to Arthur’s Pass, State Highway 80 Aoraki/Mt Cook to Twizel and State Highway 7, Fairlie to Rangitata.
Rain on the West Coast has eased enabling NZ Transport Agency crews to clean up debris in places like the Upper Buller Gorge and reopen the highway north of Westport to one lane earlier today. It may stay as one lane for a few days, contractors say. It was closed completely overnight due to debris on the road at several points(external link) between Hector and Mohikinui with 130mm of rain recorded overnight.
"Rain is forecast to continue in the Otira ranges, State Highway 73,” said Lee Wright, Transport Agency Journey Manager. “Minor slips have been cleared on the Arthurs Pass route and all South Island highways are open as of 2 pm today.
“Drivers are urged to take care near machinery and crews clearing the road. Visibility is poor in some places and high winds on the main routes mean that high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists need to take particular care or avoid travelling in these conditions.”