Ex-tropical cyclone Gita update: Heavy rain and strong winds expected overnight in lower North Island


Drivers in the bottom of the North Island are urged to delay travel if possible until the heavy rain and strong winds have passed. High winds are especially challenging for drivers of caravans, campervans, high sided vehicles and motorbikes.

NZ Transport Agency Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says driving conditions will be difficult in affected areas, and more roads may be closed at short notice for safety reasons, with the possibility of slips, rock falls, flooding and coastal inundation.

Drivers are urged to keep a close eye on the latest road conditions and MetService forecasts before travelling.

“We’re working closely with MetService, local authorities, and the Civil Defence network in preparation for any impacts on the transport network and we’re planning for the likelihood of road closures.”

If delaying travel is not an option, it’s important that motorists drive to the conditions during severe weather:

  • Reduce driving speeds
  • Increase following distances
  • Be alert to the possibility of surface flooding, fallen trees and debris

“Vehicles need three times more stopping distance in wet, while high-sided vehicles and motorbikes are more susceptible to tipping over in high winds.

“The Transport Agency wants everyone to be safe on the roads during Gita, so it’s important to keep updated on the latest forecasts and travel information before deciding to travel.”

Current closures as at 9pm

Taranaki – sections of State Highway 3 Urenui to Waitara are closed for tree removal.

Manawatu – sections of State Highway 54 Cheltenham to Hunterville is closed due to strong winds.

All current road closures and warnings will be updated in real time during the storm event at http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link), and drivers can also call 0800 44 44 49 for 24/7 updates on road conditions, closures or delays.

The latest severe weather information is available at www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings(external link). For emergency and disaster updates visit www.civildefence.govt.nz
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