The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists to postpone all non-essential travel in the Gisborne and East Cape regions due to treacherous road conditions caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam.
Rain and strong winds continue to hit the area and are making conditions potentially dangerous for all road users.
Storm surges have thrown driftwood and other debris, including rocks from a sea wall, onto sections of State Highway 35 (SH35) between Hawai to east of Waihau Bay.
High surf continues to break on the highways in some areas and the situation is expected to worsen at 3pm today due to the high tide and expected high winds.
Areas previously cleared may be inundated with driftwood and other debris as sea swells increase.
Contractors have worked hard to clear the highway up to Raukokore, removing trees and other debris.
They are currently working their way through to the Gisborne boundary where there are unconfirmed reports of multiple trees on the road between Hicks bay and just north of the town.
The Transport Agency is working with local authorities and emergency services to keep roads open and safe for travellers.
Electronic signs will be used to keep road users informed of conditions ahead.
Road maintenance and other works scheduled for this week have been postponed due to the weather. The Transport Agency will provide updates on these works when possible.
For real time information on highway conditions and incidents visit www.nzta.govt.nz(external link) or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or follow @nztawaibop on twitter.
For personalised information about driving conditions on their frequently used routes, motorists can check out and sign up to On The Move at www.onthemove.govt.nz(external link)
For more information please contact:
Waikato / Bay of Plenty Media Manager
T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 928 413