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Northlanders advised to prepare for heavy rain this afternoon

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Waka Kotahi is advising Northlanders to prepare for heavy rainfall and strong winds late this afternoon and into tomorrow, as Cyclone Fili approaches the eastern side of New Zealand’s North Island.

Mark Owen, Regional Manager - Maintenance and Operations at Waka Kotahi, says those travelling this afternoon should be on alert for changing conditions, including potential surface flooding and slips on the roads.

“Cyclone Fili is expected to deliver heavy rain and strong winds to Northland this afternoon, which can make for difficult driving conditions.

“If you must travel, please slow down and maintain a greater following distance. Remember vehicles need three times more stopping distance in wet conditions,” said Mr Owen.

Waka Kotahi together with MetService will continue to monitor conditions, however earlier forecasts have been slightly downgraded in some areas, including Auckland, but may still impact some travel.

Waka Kotahi advises those travelling in heavy rain and strong winds to:

  • Reduce driving speed – slow down and increase following distances.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel - If you must travel, drive to the conditions and plan your journey using Waka Kotahi’s Journey Planner website.
  • Be informed – keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts on the MetService website (metservice.com) and follow updates from your regional council.
  • Remain alert - be prepared for the unexpected; unreported hazards, surface flooding, slips, fallen trees and branches, and downed powerlines.
  • Be mindful – keep an eye out for people including pedestrians, cyclists and contractors who could be out clearing hazards off the road.

Any road closures and warnings will be updated in real time during the storm event on the Journey Planner page, and drivers can also call 0800 44 44 49 for 24/7 updates on road conditions, closures or delays.

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