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Te Waipounamu highways reopen after snow and flooding, flooding likely to close North Otago highways this evening

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While South Island highways affected by snow and flooding earlier today have reopened, North Otago’s rivers are rising and very likely to cause highway closures overnight.

SH1 near Seddon in Marlborough reopened to single lane just after 3 pm. People should build in extra time if they are using SH1 until the flood waters fully recede, says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager, Waka Kotahi.

SH1 Marlborough(external link)

Most other routes require care particularly heading into the night, she says. Across the network, damage from recent storms may not be easily visible so drivers are reminded to build in extra time and drive to the conditions.

North Otago new focus

Rain is continuing to fall steadily with some Coastal North Otago highways requiring extreme care as flooding increases and rivers and creeks rise. 

Graeme Hall, System Manager for Waka Kotahi in Otago, says SH1 is likely to close in coming hours north of Maheno at Kakanui River and north of Hampden at Big Kuri Creek.

There are no detours available so drivers may need to postpone their journeys. The flooding that is causing these two closures/flooding is expected to continue overnight until at least 9am Wednesday.

SH1 in North Otago – new places to watch out for

North of Maheno at the Kakanui River, south of Oamaru – open but likely to close in coming hours, extreme care needed due to flooding. 

Waikouaiti River, Waikouaiti - open, rising water, risk of flooding across SH1, crews are monitoring water levels over the road.

Big Kuri Creek, Hampden – open, rising water, risk of flooding across SH1 also being monitored and likely to close in coming hours.

SH1 North of Dunedin to Waitati

People need to take extreme care on this highway north of Dunedin to Waitati, with uneven surfaces and flooding on SH1. 

The highway to Port Chalmers, SH88, is also flooding in several places.

SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn/Alexandra

Shag River/Waihemo, Waynes - open, rising water, risk of flooding across SH1, crews are monitoring.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises travellers to check their route before they set off today.  

Journey Planner(external link)

Queenstown updates for the Crown Range Road(external link)

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