23 May 2016

Southern motorists warned over wintry weather

9:54 pm on 23 May 2016

Motorists are being warned to drive to the conditions with flooding and snow falls affecting parts of Otago and Southland.

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Photo: 123rf

Snow warnings are in place for Arthur's Pass, Lewis Pass and Porter Pass.

The West Coast Civil Defence Emergency Management team has reported large swells up the coast particularly around Punakaiki, causing some debris to wash up onto State Highway 6.

There are also numerous warnings throughout Otago and Southland.

Chains are essential on Lindis Pass and State Highway 85, between Kyeburn and Palmerston where several vehicles had to be pulled free after getting stuck in the snow, police say.

Chains are also recommended on State Highway 83 between Otematata and Kurow.

In the Clutha District, the council said flood flows were now in the lower reaches of most rivers in the district and were expected to peak overnight.

A Clutha District Council spokesperson said people should take care on the roads, especially driving in the dark.

The council said several roads in West Otago would remain closed overnight as Civil Defence staff monitor river levels in the area.

The roads will be re-assessed at 8.30am tomorrow for damage.

Many other areas are affected by flooding.

The Southern Scenic Route through the Clutha District at Caberfeidh and the Tahakopa township are being assessed and signs will be left up if necessary.

Road closures

  • Greenvale Road is closed from the Wooded Hill/Ardmore Rd intersection to Cross Road.
  • Wooded Hill Road is closed at the intersection of State Highway 90.
  • Ardmore Road is closed at the Walker Road intersection.
  • Black Gully West Road closed from the State Highway 90 intersection to Fleming Road.
  • Due to flooding, a detour is in place at the Pomahaka Bridge on State Highway 90.
  • State Highway 83, Kurow to Omarama, ice on the road is likely and extra care is needed.
  • State Highway 85, Keyburn to Palmerston, the road is closed to towing vehicles and chains are essential for all traffic.
  • Flood warnings are in place for State Highway 97, Mossburn to Five Rivers, State Highway 90 Pomahaka Bridge, State Highway 6 Nokomai to Fairlight.
  • Snow and ice is also reported on State Highway 8, Omarama to Cromwell.
  • State Highway 6, Haast to Makarora (Haast Pass), the road is down to one lane as storm damage is repaired and cleaned up.