Trapped motorists forced to sleep in cars make it to Fox Glacier

More than 100 people that were trapped, and forced to sleep in their cars overnight have made it to Fox Glacier.

Extreme weather from ex-Tropical Cyclone Fehi has trapped hundreds of people between Ross and Makaroa, due to slips on State Highway 6.

Motorist became trapped between Fox Glacier and Franz Josef on Thursday night. 

Andrew Thompson, of Westland CIvil Defence, says once power was isolated from live power lines on the road, the slip was cleared and "motorist's drove out under their own steam to Fox Glacier". 

All motorist have made it to Fox Glacier and are relieved to be in the township.

But Fox Glacier was not without its challenges, he says.

Currently, no-one can use their cellphone or landlines to call, and there is no power, he says.

It was not "an ideal situation" in the township, but at least they were not in their cars. All the motorists would be looked after at welfare centres. 

More than of 600 people remain stranded in Haast.

Thompson says it will be another couple of days, before anyone can get out, while slips are cleared.

Much of the South Island has been left with a massive clean-up job, after heavy downpours and strong winds lashed the country on Thursday.

The former tropical cyclone barrelled across the country, bringing king tides and flooding, and causing trees and debris to fall down onto roads.