28 Jan 2016

Rain warning for Gisborne motorists

11:01 am on 28 January 2016

Motorists in the Gisborne region being asked to take extra care on the roads today because of heavy rain.

MetService has issued a severe weather warning for the region and for places east of Wairoa, with up to 120mm of rain expected through to 6pm.

The Civil Defence manager Louise Bennett said the "unique weather system" - which follows an extremely dry period - could cause surface flooding.

"We are not expecting rapid rises in river levels," she said.

"The Hikuwai River at Willow Flat north of Tolaga Bay rose earlier but has levelled out."

Tairawhiti Roads journey manager Helen Harris said there was a build-up of debris on the roads, which could make them extra slippery in the rain - a phenomenon known as "summer ice".

"This has a similar effect to 'black ice' in the winter.

It could be grit, could be oil, whatever has been on the road.

Normally, if you've got rain following these sort of things, it gets washed away.

"But because we haven't had rain, we just want motorists to be aware that it might not be like normal driving in the wet conditions."

Contractors were monitoring road conditions.