12 Jul 2008

Flooding, slips on North Island roads

12:53 pm on 12 July 2008

Motorists in the lower North Island are being delayed by flooding and number of slips on roads.

A slip is partially blocking the northbound lane of State Highway 3 near Ratana, south of Wanganui.

There is surface flooding on State Highway 2 in the Hutt Valley, on northbound lanes between Normandale lights and Normandale.

And in Wellington, severe flooding has closed Grays Road, which runs between Paekakariki Hill Road and State Highway 1 at Plimmerton. Detours are in place.

Police are urging motorists to drive to the conditions and monitor their following distances.

MetService says the area around Mt Taranaki received 100mm of rain in the 24 hours to 6am on Saturday, and 60mm fell in Milford Sound.

Lower Hutt received 26mm of rain between 4am and 6am on Saturday.

In Kaikoura, Föhn winds brought an unusually high winter temperature of 21°C degrees at 1am on Saturday, with humidity as low as 10% to 15%.

MetService says wind gusts along the east coasts of the North and South Islands reached 120kmh.

Transit is warning drivers to take extreme care on Arthurs Pass and Lewis Pass in the South Island, and to exercise caution on the North Island's Desert Road.

A ban on collecting shellfish and swimming in an area of Nelson is in place because of a sewage spill caused by Friday's flooding.