25 Oct 2013

Bad weather easing, but drivers warned to take care

8:24 pm on 25 October 2013

Severe winds and rain that have hit the South Island and lower North Island since Thursday are beginning to ease ahead of the long weekend. However, motorists are still urged to take care.

MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett says a front that has brought winds of up to 120km/h is weakening on Friday as it moves up the North Island, but is still causing hazardous conditions.

Police are warning drivers be careful on State Highway 1 between Wellington and the Central Plateau due to strong winds and poor visibility.

The New Zealand Transport Agency said by 4pm, the roads in Wellington were already as busy as they normally were during peak time, as people head out of the city for Labour Weekend.

In the South Island, State Highway 7 between Reefton and Greymouth remains closed by a slip. Workers are clearing the road 2km east of Greymouth and the alternative route is via Taylorville.

A mix of rain, wind and sunshine is forecast for most parts of the country at the weekend, with heavy rain warnings for Buller, northwest Nelson and the Tararua Range. However, Dan Corbett says the country can expect at least some fine weather.

Flights resume in Wellington

Wellington airport says airlines are working to clear a backlog of passengers after strong winds affected flights earlier on Friday.

An airport spokesperson says dozens of flights were delayed or cancelled, with winds gusting up to 120km/h buffeting the lower North Island.