20 Nov 2018

Warnings after snow, heavy rain hit the lower South Island

1:01 pm on 20 November 2018

Councils on Otago's east coast are keeping a cautious eye on the skies after a night of heavy rain.

Crown Range Road closed yesterday after being blanketed with snow.

Crown Range Road closed yesterday after being blanketed with snow. Photo: MetService

The Clutha District Council has closed several roads and is warning motorists to avoid parts of the district due to surface flooding.

State Highway 8 between Lake Roxburgh Village and Millers Flat is closed due to flooding and State Highway 90 between Raes Junction and Tapanui is also closed.

Several other roads have been affected by snow and slips.

A Dunedin City Council spokesperson said rain caused few problems overnight but, with the heaviest rain forecast for this afternoon, staff are remaining cautious.

Police are urging motorists to exercise caution.

Acting Inspector Craig Dinnissen said State Highway 87 between Middlemarch and Ranfurly is particularly hazardous.

Authorities are asking motorists to avoid affected areas if possible and to exercise caution when driving in flooded areas.

MetService is forecasting between 40 to 70 millimetres of rain to fall on eastern Otago this afternoon.

Fifty millimetres of rain fell overnight, and up to 80mm is on its way today.

MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said the rain has been heavy and persistent from Southland to South Canterbury.

Meanwhile, a heavy snow warning is in place for Central Otago, Southern Lakes and northern parts of Southland.

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