A number of South Island towns, including Westport and Nelson, are currently isolated due to state highway closures caused by high river levels, flooding, fallen trees and slips.
Other isolated towns include Tākaka, Collingwood and Murchison in Tasman District.
“Hanmer Springs in Canterbury currently has no access from the state highway to the south, however that is expected to be resolved by midday today with crews clearing slips now,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
People need to check the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency map before setting out if their journey is essential.
Ms Forrester says people should avoid driving in these areas today, particularly given more rain is falling in Nelson and Marlborough and more roads may well close as river levels and rain peaks later.
“Our crews are working as hard as they can but these slips and debris will take time to clean up and flood waters take time to subside. In some places we have to wait until the river levels have subsided to get access to the slips. Please do not drive if you do not have to or delay your journey until later today and check highways then.”
Tasman District, the West Coast, including Buller District, Marlborough and Canterbury all have closures.
(Rocks Road, SH6 between Stepneyville and Tahunanui in Nelson reopened after 9 am today after large waves caused the closure).
SH60 over the Tākaka Hill, the only road access to Tākaka and Collingwood, between Riwaka and Collingwood.
SH6 south of Wakefield between Motupiko and Kohatu.
SH65 to the south, O’Sullivans Bridge to Shenandoah and Murchison.
SH63 is closed between Renwick and St Arnaud.
SH6 is also closed north of Renwick to Havelock.
SH6 has closed between Hira and Havelock, with trees over the road, cutting access into Nelson.
SH6, Westport to Rapahoe to the south is closed due to slips at Meybille Bay and Nine Mile (Crews are working hard to clear the slips so check for updates later today).
SH6, the Lower Buller Gorge route to Westport from the east is closed from Inangahua to Westport due to high river levels.
SH6 is also closed between O’Sullivans Bridge and Inangahua due to high river levels and flooding.
Further south on SH7, Grey District, the highway is closed from Ikamatua to Stillwater due to flooding. However, drivers can take the Atarau to Blackball-Taylorville Road from Ikamatua to get to Greymouth.
SH73 Arthur’s Pass to Jacksons, (which starts in *Canterbury), is closed due to a new slip at Rocky Creek (Crew are working hard to clear this slip so check for updates later today).
In Canterbury SH7, Waipara to Springs Junction is closed due to a slip at Leslie Hills (south of the Hanmer Springs turnoff), cutting access to Hanmer Springs.
“This situation could be resolved by lunchtime today (Saturday) so check the traffic map and expect delays this afternoon once the road opens as there will be a backlog of traffic,” says Ms Forrester.
*See above note for Arthur’s Pass closure.
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