Weather improves as Far North highways closed by slips and flooding


The Far North is effectively cut off by state highway closures from slips and flooding after recent heavy rain, but the weather is starting to improve.

Metservice says localised downpours and thunderstorms are still possible in Northland during today and Sunday, but the threat of widespread heavy rain has passed and the heavy rain and thunderstorm warning is now lifted.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult says most of the flooding is expected to recede this afternoon, with high tide around 6PM tonight.

“However, our advice is still for people to delay their travel if possible as our crews work across the network to make it safe for all road users. We know there will be families wanting to get home from school holidays, but safety is our priority.” 

Road crews are making progress clearing slips on SH1 in Whangarei (Western Hills Drive) and near Opua on SH11. Both roads should have one lane open to traffic from around Midday.

Further north, SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge is likely to be closed for some time as crews investigate two big slips under the road.

State highway road closures:

  • SH1 is closed from Mangamuka - Okaihau to Victoria Valley Rd by slips and flooding.
  • SH1 flooding at Moerewa.
  • SH1 Western Hills Drive between Selwyn Ave and Manse St in Whangarei is closed by a slip.
  • SH11 Paihia and Kawakawa is reduced to one lane between by a slip near Opua.
  • SH11 is closed by flooding between Opua and Kawakawa.
  • SH12 closed by flooding at Taheke Bridge.
  • SH15 is closed by flooding at Poroti.
  • South of Whangarei on SH1, there is a flooding near the Loop Rd intersections. Stop/go traffic management is in place with the road reduced to one lane.

 “Motorists should delay their journeys and check the Waka Kotahi travel information website(external link)  for latest updates. Plan your journey before setting off and allow extra time,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.

“We also ask you to be kind and follow the instructions of the road crews to keep everybody safe. If they have closed the road it is for a very good reason and people should not try to drive through the closure point.”

“If you must go out, take care, drive to the conditions and watch out for unexpected road hazards like surface flooding in low-lying areas, potholes, slips or fallen trees. Heavy rain can also reduce visibility,” says Ms Hori-Hoult.