Hundreds still without power in Gisborne

Hundreds still without power in Gisborne

State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Opotiki will remain closed overnight after snow and ice made road conditions too treacherous to travel on.

Hundreds of people are still without power and the highway south of Gisborne to Wairoa is down to one lane, as the East Cape endures its coldest weather in decades.

Snow started falling yesterday, closing SH2 between Wairoa and Gisborne.

One lane was opened for some of today, giving a busload of children the chance to revel in the snow – shoes were an optional extra for some.

The road north from Gisborne to Opotoki was closed and this afternoon 800 East Coast customers were still without power after snow and lightning disrupted supply.

Further south, SH5 between Napier and Taupo re-opened, a relief for truck drivers who had been forced to park up for the night. 

On the Central Plateau most roads around Tongariro National Park were closed for much of the day. 

RadioLIVE's James Coleman was trapped overnight in Waiouru after his was one of the last cars allowed through from Ohakune yesterday.

"We've got kids, we're a family of four, we couldn't find anywhere to stay so we got hold of the Waiouru Military Camp and they put us up for the night in the barracks," says Mr Coleman.

But MetService says snow showers are easing.

"We are going to find it's drier and brighter through the weekend, but those clear skies, light winds at night, those temperatures really dropping away," says meteorologist John Law.

And the icy temperatures that have gripped the North Island could continue until next week. 

3 News