Wind, rain closes roads, severe weather warning issued

  • 08/07/2016

Severe weather warnings have been issued as a stormy low-pressure system makes its way through the North Island's Hawke's Bay region.

Metservice warns gales and heavy rain could hit Gisborne and the Hawke's Bay.

Up to 120mm of rain is expected in the Hawke's Bay ranges north of Wairoa, causing streams and rivers to rise and possible surface flooding and slips.

The stormy weather is expected to last through Saturday.

Several roads were closed this morning due to slips and flooding in the Coromandel and near Tauranga.

The road has been reopened at Katikati after being closed when the Uretara Stream washed over the bridge.

State Highway 25 east of Coromandel is open, but down to one lane due to a slip.

The New Zealand Transport Organisation now says roads have been re-opened.

Gusts of up to 120 km/h are expected in exposed areas of northern Westland, Buller, the Marlborough Sounds, central North Island and upper South Island.

The winds could lead to dangerous driving conditions and cause damage to powerlines and trees.

Those planning to head onto the water today are advised to check the weather carefully, as coastal and oceanic warnings have been issued.

Metservice Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths says the storm could cause further damage today.

As cool air makes its way across the central North Island, Metservice warns of likely snowfall from Malborough to Hawke's Bay.

This may be good news for those hitting the slopes of Ruapehu, however the Desert Road could be affected.

Police are warning of a number of ice-related crashes in South Otago, Gore and Invercargill.

Southern District Road Policing Manager Inspector Tania Baron says police have attended more than 25 crashes across the district this morning.

Police warn drivers to beware of black ice and to allow greater following distance on frosty and wet days.