The NZ Transport Agency advises drivers, particularly of high-sided vehicles, and motorcyclists to take care today as high winds more than 100kph and dust affect driving across much of the South Island.
With the winds still strong across the South Island, those of you checking road conditions might like to regularly update/refresh the Transport Agency’s webmap(external link) and the map showing road closures.(external link)
SH1 at Kekerengu was closed for a short period thisafternoon when a trailer fire broke out and spread to nearby vegetation. Rural fire crews and the Transport Agency’s Downer team helped with monsoon buckets keeping it under control and extinguished fairly fast.
The latest closure is SH73 the road to the West Coast, which is closed at Homebush Rd intersection near Darfield due to a scrub fire. Motorists are advised to follow the directions of emergency services at the scene.
State Highways 8 (Tekapo to Twizel) and 80 (to Mount Cook) are being buffeted by extremely strong winds more than 100 kph with a crash earlier today at Lake Pukaki.
“Roads are open but drivers are urged to take care or reschedule if they are driving high-sided vehicles like camper vans,” said Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright.
State Highway 1 from Rakaia to Glenavy, South Canterbury, is also being hit hard by the strong winds.
Roadside fire south of Ashburton
A fire on the side of the SH1, between Ashburton and the Rangitata River, near Winslow is reducing visibility currently. Drivers need to take special care and slow down. The road remains open.
Update SH94 Te Anau to Milford Sound – now open
This road was closed last night due to the potential for a slip to break out again in the Lower Hollyford Valley with the heavy rain. It has now reopened.
Update Hanmer Springs SH7A
This road is still open one lane with manual traffic management (Stop/Go), despite the fire reigniting with the winds earlier today. People heading to Hanmer Springs should check the Transport Agency’s map(external link) to ensure the road is still open before they leave and be prepared for the situation to change.
Earlier information still applicable:
State highways particularly affected by the high winds include: State Highway 1, through Canterbury and Otago along the coast, in particular Palmerston to the Waitaki Bridge, and between Dunedin and Balclutha, State Highway 80 to Aoraki/Mount Cook, State Highway 73 between Canterbury and the West Coast, State Highway 87 Middlemarch to Dunedin, State Highway 83 Omarama to Pukeuri and State Highway 8 through the Lindis Pass from the Mackenzie Basin to Twizel.