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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

A number of South Island towns, including Westport and Nelson, are currently isolated due to state highway closures caused by high river levels, flooding, fallen trees and slips.

Other isolated towns include Tākaka, Collingwood and Murchison in Tasman District.

“Hanmer Springs in Canterbury currently has no access from the state highway to the south, however that is expected to be resolved by midday today with crews clearing slips now,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

People need to check the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency map before setting out if their journey is essential.

Traffic information(external link)

Ms Forrester says people should avoid driving in these areas today, particularly given more rain is falling in Nelson and Marlborough and more roads may well close as river levels and rain peaks later.

“Our crews are working as hard as they can but these slips and debris will take time to clean up and flood waters take time to subside. In some places we have to wait until the river levels have subsided to get access to the slips. Please do not drive if you do not have to or delay your journey until later today and check highways then.”

SH1, the Wairau River bridge to the right in Marlborough

SH6 just before Canvastown, which is between the Pelorus Bridge and Havelock, water over the road is at least 1.5m deep and strong flowing

SH6 south of Havelock, top of the South Island

Where are the closures?

Tasman District, the West Coast, including Buller District, Marlborough and Canterbury all have closures.

(Rocks Road, SH6 between Stepneyville and Tahunanui in Nelson reopened after 9 am today after large waves caused the closure).

Tasman 

SH60 over the Tākaka Hill(external link), the only road access to Tākaka and Collingwood, between Riwaka and Collingwood 

SH6 south of Wakefield(external link) between Motupiko and Kohatu

SH65 to the south,(external link) O’Sullivans Bridge to Shenandoah and Murchison 

Marlborough

SH63 is closed between Renwick and St Arnaud(external link)

SH6 is also closed north of Renwick to Havelock(external link)

In Nelson/Marlborough

SH6 has closed between Hira and Havelock(external link), with trees over the road, cutting access into Nelson

The West Coast, mainly in Buller District, one in Grey District

SH6, Westport to Rapahoe to the south is closed(external link) due to slips at Meybille Bay and Nine Mile (Crews are working hard to clear the slips so check for updates later today).

SH6, the Lower Buller Gorge route to Westport from the east is closed (external link)from Inangahua to Westport due to high river levels 

SH6 is also closed between O’Sullivans Bridge and Inangahua(external link) due to high river levels and flooding 

Further south on SH7, Grey District, the highway is closed from Ikamatua to Stillwater(external link) due to flooding. However, drivers can take the Atarau to Blackball-Taylorville Road from Ikamatua to get to Greymouth 

SH73 Arthur’s Pass to Jacksons,(external link) (which starts in *Canterbury), is closed due to a new slip at Rocky Creek (Crew are working hard to clear this slip so check for updates later today). 

Canterbury

In Canterbury SH7, Waipara to Springs Junction is closed(external link) due to a slip at Leslie Hills (south of the Hanmer Springs turnoff), cutting access to Hanmer Springs

“This situation could be resolved by lunchtime today (Saturday) so check the traffic map and expect delays this afternoon  once the road opens as there will be a backlog of traffic,” says Ms Forrester. 

*See above note for Arthur’s Pass closure.

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