4 Jul 2017

Schools closed as snow falls in Otago

3:04 pm on 4 July 2017

Half a dozen schools and early childhood centres at Tapanui in west Otago are having a snow day.

No school buses are running in the area after several centimetres of snow fell overnight.

The schools closed are Tapanui, Heriot and Waikoikoi primary, Blue Mountain College, and the early childhood centres are Kidzway Early Learning Centre and Tapanui Playcentre.

Clinton Primary opened late.

Forecast snow has arrived in higher South Island inland areas, but not reached Dunedin.

Warnings for snow and ice are in place for at least seven South Island highways including the State Highway 8 through the Lindis Pass, State Highway 85 from Alexandra to Ranfurly and State Highway 90 from Raes Junction to Willowbank.

Snow is falling above 400 metres in some parts, and 20 centimetres of snow has settled on Dunrobin Hill in West Otago.

The Transport Agency said occasional snow falls were likely to affect the summit of Dunedin's Northern Motorway and there was still a low chance of snow settling there this afternoon.

A road in Gore in Southland has been closed by surface flooding.

MacGibbon Road, which runs alongside the Waikaka Stream is shut between between Millane Road and where it joins State Highway One.