24 Sep 2015

North Island roads closed by flooding, slips

5:13 pm on 24 September 2015

Flooding and slips have closed some main roads around the North Island this morning.

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Photo: RNZ / Georgina McLean

State Highway 2 between Napier and Wairoa and State Highway 5 between Taupo and Napier were closed earlier today but have both since reopened.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said no detours were in place for the SH2 route.

NZTA spokesperson Mark Owen says clean-up crews were clearing the slips on SH2, but he did not know when the road will be reopened.

"The crews do work pretty hard and they work 24/7 if they need to, to try and get the road open. We're know they're pretty important for people to continue their journeys, but it is subject to weather and the amount of material that is in these slips."

In Manawatu, State Highway 56 is closed between Opiki and Rangiotu Road because of flooding, and traffic is being directed onto State Highway 57.

NZTA has advised motorists to drive carefully in the area. It said crews were out in force to clear slips and would reopen roads as soon as it was safe to do so.

A major slip has also closed a rural road north of Lake Rotoiti to all traffic.

Maniatutu Road, Otaramarae and Pongakawa, was closed to traffic on Wednesday afternoon, and Rotorua Lakes Council said the slip was located about nine kilometres north of the Rotoiti end of Maniatutu Road.

Council roading contractors are currently working to clear the slip but warn that it might be several days before the road can be made safe and re-opened.

Updates and further details on road closures can be found at the NZTA [website http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic ].