28 Jun 2012

Reefton has biggest snowfall in 50 years

9:24 am on 28 June 2012

A South Island town has been blanketed by its biggest snowfall in 50 years.

From Tuesday night 20 centimetres of snow has fallen on Reefton, on the West Coast.

Local weather forecaster Tony Fortune told Morning Report that the town gets a fall every year but not of this depth.

He says the local primary school closed on Wednesday and buses didn't run due to the dangerous conditions.

Reefton Hotel manager Chris Boyd has been hosting stranded truck drivers and says the hotel's log-burner has been keeping the bar nice and warm.

Snow affects South Island roads

Snow continued to affect roads in the South Island on Thursday.

State Highway 94, from Te Anau to Milford Sound, remains closed from Cascade Bridge due to the snow.

State Highway 73 from Arthurs Pass to Porters Pass is closed to towing vehicles and chains are essential for all other vehicles.

Motorists in Southland were also being warned to expect strong gales on Thursday.