Helicopter footage has revealed the extent of the damage inflicted to Takaka Hill after Cyclone Gita ravaged the Nelson-Tasman region on Tuesday night.
More than 15 slips have blocked and washed away parts of State Highway 60, leaving thousands of Golden Bay residents cut off.
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Footage shows the Takaka Hill road cluttered with mud, debris and fallen trees. The highway was closed at 4pm on Tuesday as the weather worsened.
The damage, currently being cleared by contractors, will take several days to get through. When the road reopens it will likely be reduced to one lane, according to Nelson Tasman Civil Defence.
Food supplies for Golden Bay's 5000 locals and 1000 stranded tourists will be delivered by sea tomorrow. Medical supplies have been delivered to Golden Bay Health Centre by the Nelson-Tasman emergency co-ordination centre, helped by Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi.
Elsewhere in Nelson, fields are drenched after Gita caused massive flooding. Rivers burst their banks and residents were forced to evacuate their homes as the water rose.