Flooding closes Karangahake Gorge
Monday 23 Jul 2012 12:32 p.m.
By 3 News online staff
MetService has issued a severe weather watch for the North Island, with heavy rain expected over much over the country.
Near Paeroa, the Ohinemuri River which flows through the Karangahake Gorge has risen more than three metres since midnight.
The road through the gorge was closed this morning.
Motorists are advised to use either State Highway 29 via Tauranga or State Highway 25A between Kopu and Hikuai as alternative routes.
“The NZTA are closely monitoring all roads within the Coromandel area with heavy rain due to continue to fall in the area until tomorrow morning." says NZTA acting regional state highway manager, Karen Boyt.
Also, this afternoon police said State Highway 2 through Athenree Gorge has been closed due to a slip.
Metservice says up to 120mm of rain could fall in the western Bay of Plenty, and up to 140mm in Gisborne.
"It has certainly been a soggy start to the work week in many North Island places," says MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett, "but this should ease to more showery conditions as the week progresses."
MetService has severe weather warnings and watches in place for the heavy rain into Tuesday morning.
The Tairua River at Hikuai on State highway 25 is also being monitored, but isn't expected to have to close any time today.
The New Zealand Transport Authority says motorists should take care due to surface flooding in Papamoa on State Highway 2.
“We ask motorists to reduce their speed and take extreme care when travelling in this area, especially as potholes have appeared on the road surface," says state highway manager Brett Glidden. "Repairs will be carried out as soon as the sealing crews are able to access the site.”