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Strong winds across North Canterbury – SH7 Lewis Pass could remain closed until this afternoon

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising drivers to check their routes around the South Island/Te Wai Pounamu today as gale force winds have brought down trees and power lines across several highways, particularly in North Canterbury.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising drivers to check their routes around the South Island/ Te Wai Pounamu today as gale force winds have brought down trees and power lines across several highways, particularly in North Canterbury.

The fires in the hills are not affecting the state highways or visibility at this stage.

Steve Rusbatch, Maintenance Contract Manager, North Canterbury for Waka Kotahi says that more strong winds are forecast for Sunday and Monday.

“Check before you head out and be aware that coming around a corner, there could be branches in places. Our crews will be doing their best to maintain a safe route so please watch out for them also.”

One highway closed as at 10.30 am:

SH7, the Lewis Pass route, closed from Hanmer Springs turn-off - with multiple sites with trees down.

Arthur’s Pass route open with small detour before Springfield

SH 73, Arthur’s Pass route between Canterbury and the West Coast, open with a detour before Springfield.

Other highways now open – some of these routes were closed earlier today

  • SH 77 near Coalgate – now open.
  • SH 7A – highway into Hanmer Springs town single lane where trees down – but open.
  • SH 1 north of Christchurch to Cheviot open. Please slow down if you see crews working.

“Network-wide inspections are underway as there are many trees that have not fallen but are damaged and will need attending to, also we will assess  road sign damage,” says Mr Rusbatch.

“The next high wind event is forecast for Sunday/Monday – same strength as today. So please take care with the weekend trips in windy areas and be aware crews will be busy.”

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