Heavy rain on the West Coast of the South Island will see State Highway stay closed tonight.
The route was closed between Ross and Haast shortly after three pm today. It also means travellers in Queenstown and Wanaka cannot drive through to the West Coast on State Highway 6.
Mark Pinner, Manager System Management Central South Island, says the heavy rain has brought down trees and slips along the route this afternoon.
“This includes a large slip at Lake Ianthe between Ross and Harihari. Our road crews have been working hard to clear debris all day and will continue through to nightfall. However, we are pulling them out tonight for safety reasons and with more heavy rain forecast.”
Mr Pinner says contractors will be back first thing in the morning to continue their work.
“We will reassess the highway’s status tomorrow. But until then, it remains closed.”
And Mr Pinner says drivers need to take care with more rain coming for Buller, Tasman, Westland, Nelson and Marlborough.
“If you’re in areas subject to weather warnings and weather watches, please check the road conditions before you head out. If you can, delay your travel until the worst of the weather passes. It’s much better to arrive late than not at all.”
It’s not just rain that will pose an issue for drivers. The Metservice has a strong wind warning for the Canterbury High Country.
“If you’re in a large vehicle, towing a trailer, or riding a motorbike, strong winds can make driving and riding hazardous”, Mr Pinner says.
“If you’re going through Lewis Pass, Arthur’s Pass, or heading to the McKenzie Basin or Central Otago, please be aware severe gales with gusts of up to 130 km/h are forecast.”
Drivers should be prepared for hazards. Bad weather, slips, and flooding can see State Highways closed at short notice. A further update will be made by midday tomorrow.
Waka Kotahi is providing regular updates to the public as the severe weather continues to affect Aotearoa this week.
Our Journey Planner(external link) page is updated by our traffic operations centres 24/7 to provide the latest available information on state highway closures and disruptions. Remember to refresh the page when checking the status of highways to ensure the latest updates are displayed.