The NZ Transport Agency is advising people to drive with extreme care on the State Highway network in Northland and Auckland as a tropical storm passes the top of the North Island.
Northland appears to be bearing the worst of the storm, says the NZTA's Regional Assets Manager, Steve Mutton. Some sections of the state highway have been closed by surface flooding, and strong winds have brought downs trees.
On State Highway 1 there has been flooding at Te Kao, north of Kaitaia, and at Rangihau and near Morewa. There was also flooding near Kaeo on SH10. and traffic through Bulls Gorge on SH10 is restricted to one lane. There are also reports of fallen trees in North Maungamuka Gorge on SH1 near Kaitaia.
"Our contractors are doing everything possible to keep the highways safe, but conditions do change rapidly," Mr Mutton says. "If people do have to travel, they need to drive to the conditions and allow extra time for a safe journey."
Mr Mutton say before starting their journeys people should check with the NZTA's freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or 0800 44 44 49, or its website www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link) for traffic updates.