16 Nov 2016

Wellington: What you need to know on day three

3:55 pm on 16 November 2016

The wild weather has eased but motorists in the Wellington region are being advised that travel will take longer than usual due to the clean up after yesterday's deluge.

The cordon around quake-damaged Wellington buildings

A cordon around quake-damaged Wellington buildings. Photo: RNZ / Emile Donovan

The New Zealand Transport Agency said contractors worked through the night to clear up slips across the region after it was hit by heavy rain that caused evacuations and closed roads creating commuter chaos in greater Wellington yesterday.

This followed the magnitude 7.5 earthquake that rocked much of New Zealand, killing two people and causing widespread damage.

Check out Wellington City Council's civil defence emergency map with updates on road closures, building damage and other essential information.

Building damage

The residents of Tennyson Apartments in central Wellington have been evacuated and the building decleared unsafe, the fire service says.

The Wellington headquarters of the Defence Force on Aitken Street has been deemed uninhabitable for up to a year, RNZ understands.

Molesworth Street, between Hill Street and Hawkestone Street, is closed to traffic and pedestrians, due to the danger presented by a 10-storey office building which has a fractured major structural beam.

Civil Defence has cordoned off Pipetea Street in the central city, as it was worried about the facade of Pipetea House - the offices of the Security Intelligence Service.

New Zealand Rugby House, St Paul's Cathedral and the Thai Embassy, were evacuated yesterday and are likely empty, at least for today.

Some houses accessed off Collina Terrace have also been evacuated.

Roads & rail

Haywards Hill - between Paremata and the Hutt Valley - remains shut.

Slips have closed Shelly Bay Road, south of the old Air Force base, and South Makara Road, south of the golf course, for up to a week.

Takarau Gorge Road, between Johnsonville and Makara Beach, is also closed by slips.

The Kapiti Line rail services have been cancelled between Porirua and Waikanae until further notice and there will be no replacement services.

Kereru Station and the Petone subway are closed because of flooding.

State Highway One from Pukerua Bay to Plimmerton is down to one lane in both directions due to a slip, and traffic management is likely to be in place until at least Friday. Motorists should expect significant delays.

SH2 is down to one lane, just north of the Ngauranga interchange.

SH58 from SH2 to Paremata is open to Hutt-bound motorists.

SH58 is currently not suitable for heavy vehicles until further notice.

There is also a major slip on Airlie Road, and NZTA recommends motorists do not use the road as an alternative route.

For Porirua-bound motorists, the road is open to Postgate Drive where a diversion is in place to the Whitford Brown traffic lights. The section between Postgate Drive and Paremata roundabout westbound is closed due to slips.

Weather, water and ferries

KiwiRail says its ferries the Kaitaki and Kaiarahi are now back to over 75 percent capacity, and it hopes to be fully operational by the end of the week.

The capital's water supply is safe to drink and does not need to be boiled, a Wellington Water spokesperson says.

Yesterday's wild weather is expected to continue in some places with a strong southerly gales and cooler temperatures for the east of the South Island, including Kaikoura and Wellington, Metservice says.

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