Picton is the latest town to join others in the upper South Island with no road access due to flooding and high river levels. A local state of emergency was this afternoon declared in Marlborough with people being evacuated from some areas.
Check these links for Marlborough evacuation updates
Westport, Tākaka, Collingwood, Murchison, Springs Junction and Nelson are also currently isolated due to state highway closures caused by the flooding with river levels peaking at state highway bridges this afternoon.
“People should continue to avoid driving in these areas, particularly given more rain is falling around the Marlborough Sounds and emergency services are responding,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Rainfall has peaked in Nelson/ Tasman area with river levels now starting to drop, says Civil Defence.
“Slips and debris will take some time to clean up and flood waters will take time to subside. Please stay off the roads.”
SH6 Rocks Road is currently closed for the high tide period Stepneyville to Tahunanui but should open later today. The footpath is damaged and is closed.
State Highway 1 between Blenheim/ Spring Creek and Picton closed this afternoon due to a slip and flooding on the route. The Wairau River Bridge on SH1 is also closed due to the high river levels.
The Buller River Bridge at the town’s entrance, SH67, closed just before 2 pm today due to rising river levels and large amounts of debris in the floodwaters. High tide is around 4 pm.
A decision is likely to be made around 6 pm tonight whether the bridge opens overnight or not.
SH73 between Arthur’s Pass and Jacksons has now reopened with the slip cleared at Rocky Creek.
On SH7 near Greymouth, the highway is now open from Ikamatua to Stillwater.
However SH7 between Reefton and Springs Junction closed after 3 pm today due to a slip on the Rahu Saddle, isolating the Springs Junction community. Update Sunday midday.
SH6 south of Westport to Rapahoe is closed but should be opened early evening with good progress made on the clean-up today. Update 5 pm.
Canterbury – area of SH7 closed is shorter
“SH7, the highway north of Christchurch to the Hanmer Springs turnoff is now open,” says Ms Forrester. “However, there is damage past the turnoff so SH7 remains closed from there to Springs Junction.”
People need to check the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency map(external link) before setting out if their journey is essential.
Highways closed in Tasman are:
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
SH1 closed this afternoon between Spring Creek and Picton due to flooding and a slip.
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.
Rocks Road, SH6, in Nelson, is closed for a couple of hours this afternoon for the high tide.
The West Coast, mainly in Buller District:
SH6, Westport to Rapahoe to the south is closed due to slips at Meybille Bay and Nine Mile. This highway could be opened tonight.
SH6, the Lower Buller Gorge route to Westport from the east is closed from Inangahua to Westport due to high river levels.
SH67 North of Westport highway, Fairdown to Mohikinui, Closed at Orowaiti River due to flooding and slips further north. Update 5pm.
SH6 is also closed between O’Sullivans Bridge and Inangahua due to high river levels and flooding.
SH7 between Reefton and Springs Junction closed after 3 pm today due to a slip on the Rahu Saddle, isolating the Springs Junction community. Update Sunday midday.
In Canterbury SH7, is now closed from the Hanmer Springs turnoff to Springs Junction.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: