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Heavy rain coming – drivers on alpine passes, be prepared


30 June 2017 | SOUTHERN REGION

Heavy rain coming – drivers on alpine passes, be prepared

Heavy rain is expected in parts of the South Island, in particular State Highways 7 and 73 (Lewis Pass and Arthur’s Pass) today and through the weekend to Monday, 3 July.

The MetService has issued a severe weather rain warning for the Nelson and Buller areas as well as Canterbury river headwaters and lakes from midday today. More than 100mm is likely to fall.

Drivers are advised that the heavy rain is likely to cause challenging driving conditions on the Lewis Pass, reduced visibility and it may produce localised surface flooding and slips.

North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Journey Manager, Tresca Forrester says it is important for drivers to take extreme care and drive to the conditions during wet weather.

“Wet roads can be very slippery, and visibility on the road across the alpine passes can be difficult in heavy rain. Drivers need to follow at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. In winter, especially in poor weather, double the two-second rule to ensure a safe distance between you and the car in front,” Ms Forrester says.

“It’s also a good idea to check your car before you head across the passes or on longer journeys, as effective brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers, lights and steering are crucial in wet weather.”

Ms Forrester noted that the rain on Saturday could have a significant impact on roads in the Nelson and Buller regions, affecting travel north and west of Christchurch via the State Highway 7 route.

Rain is forecast to continue into Sunday, mainly in the Nelson and Buller regions.

How to stay up to date:

• Find safe winter driving tips at www.nzta.govt.nz/winterjourneys

• The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic

• Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here https://www.nzta.govt.nz/contact-us/connect-with-us/

• Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team for traffic and travel information.

• MetService severe weather warnings here.

• MetService road snowfall warnings here. (http://www.metservice.com/warnings/road-snowfall-warnings)

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