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Ruapehu District Council Urges People to Stay Safe

Council urges people to stay safe

Ruapehu District Council is advising residents and visitors to the district to stay off the roads as the worst of the storm currently lashing the Central Plateau passes through over the next day and a half.

People who need to travel should check the NZTA website for the latest road information and MetService for the latest weather updates.

Council chief executive Clive Manley said that council has been closely monitoring events and will have a skeleton staff on in our Ohakune office to help people with information enquiries.

“Many staff at our Central Plateau offices in Ohakune and Raetihi have been unable to get into work today because of the blizzard conditions and closed roads.”

“The Raetihi office, Ohakune and Whakapapa i-SITEs and Waimarino Transfer Station are closed.”

“The NZ Transport Agency that looks after the State Highway (SH) network said that SH1, SH46, SH47, SH49 and SH4 around the Central Plateau are currently closed due to snow and some vehicle incidents.”

“Many local Ruapehu roads on the Central Plateau are closed and will be so for the day and maybe into tomorrow.”

“Road clearing resources are currently focused on clearing the State Highways which have priority.”

“It is expected that local roads will start to reopen from tomorrow.”

Mr. Manley said people should not take chances with driving in these conditions and stay off closed roads.

“Even if the road is open, if in their estimation, it does not look safe to drive, or they are not experienced in driving in these conditions, they should make the wise decision not to drive.”

“The MetService has advised that we can expect a lot more snow over the day with the storm easing a bit this evening before we get hit again with another burst of extreme weather Friday morning.”

“If the storm does calm down this evening as predicted people should be aware that the roads are very likely to turn to ice overnight making driving treacherous.”

“There has been some reports of isolated power outages.”

“For up to date information on these people should see The Lines Company (TLC) and PowerCo. websites.”

Ruapehu mayor Don Cameron said who lives at Horipito at the base of Mt Ruapehu between National Park and Ohakune said that this weather event currently lashing the Central Plateau is the worst he has seen in a number of years.

“I cannot remember seeing this much snow from one weather event since 2008,” he said.

“The silver lining of course is that when the sun comes out there is going to be some fantastic skiing and boarding up on Mt Ruapehu.”


ENDS


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