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Rain and wind continues to make driving difficult

Lusi’s rain and wind continues to make driving difficult

Tropical Cyclone Lusi continues to make driving conditions difficult and the NZ Transport Agency warns people they need to take care when travelling.

“State highways in the upper North island are open, but there is a lot of storm debris about, particularly on rural roads in the Northland and the Waikato/Coromandel regions,” says the Transport Agency’s National Journey Manager Kathryn Musgrave

“Lusi arrived first in Northland and our contractors there have done great job working through the night in very dangerous conditions to clear fallen trees and branches to keep our network operating safely,” says Mrs Musgrave.

“Wave surges also threw debris up onto some coastal roads in the region. A section of State Highway 11 between Kawakawa and Pahia in the Bay of Island has been closed and traffic diverted while debris thrown up by this morning’s high tide is removed. We’ll have that closure and diversion in place again for tonight’s high tide.

“Lusi will pack a punch until she blows herself out, and people need to be alert on the roads for anything unexpected,” Mrs Musgrave says.

The Transport Agency is working with local authorities and emergency services to keep roads open and safe for everyone. It is also is using electronic signs to alert drivers to surface water in many areas.

“Roads are greasy after our long dry well, and it is important to drive to the conditions. Reduce driving speeds below the legal limit and increase following distances – vehicles need two to three times more stopping distance in wet weather.”

Mrs Musgrave says care is also needed in those areas exposed to strong winds – like the Auckland Harbour Bridge – and roads near the coast. Wind gusts of more than 70kph were recorded on the harbour bridge this morning.

“While the wind has not been extreme, it is still gusty and strong enough for all road users to need to be alert to unexpected gusts – keep your distance from vehicles travelling in front of you and beside you,” Mrs Musgrave says.

The following links will provide information to help people plan their journeys:-

Updates on state highway conditions and hazards: Freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS orwww.highwayinfo.govt.nz
Get free email alerts on a specific route by signing up to www.onthemove.govt.nz
Auckland roads and public transport: www.at.govt.nz
Northland roads: Freephone 0800 111655
ENDS

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