11 Aug 2019

Snow and floods set to disrupt travel in South Island

11:17 am on 11 August 2019

Drivers are warned to travel with extreme care today, after snowfall and rain across the country affect road conditions this morning.

In Canterbury, the main routes between Christchurch and the West Coast remain closed because of snow.

State Highway 7 is closed from the Hanmer turnoff to Reefton and SH73 between Lewis Pass and Bealey is also closed.

In Central Otago, Kyeburn to Outram has reopened this morning after being closed by heavy snow.

And on the coast, State Highway 1 from Timaru to Oamaru has reopened after being closed by flooding. There is water along the route and motorists are urged to drive to the conditions.

The Transport Agency has told drivers to be careful of the challenging conditions that remain in several parts of the country.

Peter Little from Met Service said there is a severe thunderstorm watch for parts of the North Island, and coastal gale warnings.

"For the North Island we have an unstable north-westerly flow that's bringing heavy showers with thunderstorms. That thunderstom risk extends right down all western areas of the North Island and also the north-west region of the South Island.

"For much of Canterbury and Otago where there was very heavy rain yesterday and snow that is now easing."