Flooding hits West Coast closing highway as front sets in - Kogonuso

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Nov 7, 2018

Flooding hits West Coast closing highway as front sets in

Flooding has closed a highway on the West Coast as heavy rainfall lashes the region, with locals preparing for further weather disruption today.
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith posted a video of the flooding on Facebook.

Westland Mayor Bruce Smith posted a video of the flooding on Facebook. Photo: Facebook / Westland Mayor Bruce Smith

The highway from Hari Hari to Franz Josef has been closed due to flooding.

The latest transport agency update said heavy rain in the area had shut a section of State Highway 6, while warnings were in place for the highway from Hokitika to Haast, and Fox Glacier to Haast.

There were reports of water across the road in South Westland, and more heavy rain was forecast.

Authorities are preparing for possible flooding in Hokitika as heavy rain makes its way up the West Coast.

Westland Civil Defence acting controller Simon Bastion said high tide was expected at midday and there are sandbags on standby if there's flooding from the Hokitika River.

"The river was reasonably empty before we started this so hopefully there's enough capacity in the river to take all that extra water," he said.

Mr Bastion said 200-300 mm of rain was forecast over the next 24 hours.

The Transport Agency was advising caution on State Highway 73 between Arthur's Pass to Otira because of strong winds.

Area warnings are also in place for State Highway 60 from Riwaka to Takaka due to forecast rain from now until tomorrow morning.

Strong wind warnings are in effect for Canterbury, including the alpine passes. Parts of Otago and Southland are also braced for heavy rain.

Earlier, MetService said an active front would bring heavy rain to parts of central and southern New Zealand.

Westland Mayor Bruce Smith said all of the district's emergency operations centres had been set up in the event they were needed.

Meanwhile, in stark contrast farther north settled and warmer weather continues ahead of the front.

Temperatures along the East Coast in particular are set to reach the 20s today.

The highest temperatures forecast today are around Napier, expected to reach 29C.

Further up the coast at Gisborne temperatures are expected to hit 25C.

Similar temperatures are expected around Palmerston North and the Wellington region.

Christchurch will experience the hottest weather in the South Island, forecast to reach 26C.

Auckland and Northland temperatures will hover around the low 20s, with some light showers expected.

Showers are also expected across western areas of the North Island.
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