31 Oct 2013

Rain and wind disrupts travel

2:59 pm on 31 October 2013

Heavy rain and strong winds are buffeting the lower North Island and are forecast to continue well into Friday. The north of the country is also expected to experience thunderstorms and heavy rain.

In Wellington, winds have reached up to 100km/h, cancelling and delaying a number of flights and forcing some landings to be aborted on Thursday.

The council is asking motorists to avoid Brooklyn Road, one of the main roads to the southern suburbs, while contractors clear a fallen tree blocking the downhill lane. It has also taken out trolley bus wires.

The slip across part of Waterfall Road.

The slip across part of Waterfall Road. Photo: KAPITI COAST DISTRICT COUNCIL

In the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville, a tree is blocking both lanes of Middleton Road, which will not be reopened until Thursday evening.

Kiwirail says train services on the Johnsonville line will be running half-hourly on Thursday evening because of the weather conditions and speed restrictions due to track work.

The Hutt River is not expected to spill over its stopbanks after heavy rain in its catchment area, but some roads will stay closed until at least Friday.

The incident controller for the Hutt City Council, Clive Phillips, says the Riverbank Carpark in Lower Hutt has been closed and the council has moved cars to the top of the stopbank.

Harcourt Werry Drive and Block Road off State Highway 2 have also been closed, which he says will cause problems for commuters on Thursday night.

In Kapiti, Waterfall Road will be closed for several days because of a slip that came down on an unsealed section of the road in Raumati South at 10.30pm on Wednesday.

The Kapiti Coast District Council says the road will be closed to all but residents until it is cleared.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is advising drivers to take care when travelling over the Rimutaka Hill on State Highway 2 linking Wellington and Wairarapa, and on the Desert Road in the central North Island.