Weather: Civil Defence declares state of emergency in the Southland region

Civil Defence has declared a state of emergency in the Southland region.

It follows the emergency declared in Fiordland on Monday and comes as extensive flooding causes major problems across the region.

Rivers are rising and there are many road closures and landslips.

Roads in northern Southland have been hammered by rain and conditions are challenging for contractors.

The Southland District Council has warned residents that crews may not be able to access all affected areas.

"Be sure to check in with [the] NZ Transport Agency before travelling through western areas of the South Island," MetService said on Facebook.

"The heaviest rain is forecast to move up Westland today [Tuesday]."

Emergency Management Southland Controller Angus McKay told Newshub the 195 tourists still trapped in Milford Sound will have to wait until Wednesday morning to be flown out due to the conditions.

The NZTA says State Highway 94 between Cascade Creek and Milford Sound could remain closed into early next week.

A community hub has been set up at the Lumsden Community Hall for anyone wanting support and advice, Emergency Management Southland says.