NZ Transport Agency crews worked through the night monitoring State Highway 6 down the West Coast and through Franz Josef township, as the area was hit by torrential rain. Around 138mm fell between 11 pm and 3 am.
The highway was closed for two hours but reopened at 4 am after the Waiho River began to drop. A State of Emergency was declared by Civil Defence around 2 am.
“Transport Agency crews continue to monitor the situation today and will inspect damage to the highway and bridges/ other structures at first light,” said Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.
The Transport Agency is working closely with Emergency Services and Civil Defence.
The wider picture South Island
Motorists are urged to drive with caution and slow down across the South Island given the wet weather. SH60, Takaka to Collingwood, is currently closed with no detour available. Road users are asked to avoid travelling this road at this this stage.
Recent images from north of Franz Josef: