Weather: Snow, gales, heavy rain in south with more to come

August 2, 2021

Snow, heavy rain and strong winds are battering the South Island causing disruption on roads and damage to properties.

A tree has crashed through a kitchen in the Christchurch suburb of Cashmere.

Fire and Emergency say one crew was called out just after 5.30am to the property on Valley Rd.

Officers used spades to redirect water away from the house after a small wall collapsed.

The crew was on site for 15 minutes and no one was injured in the incident.

🌨 Snowfall and strong winds 💨

A cold front moving up the country brings just the right ingredients for snow at some of the alpine passes.

Southwesterly winds are also forecast to be quite gusty for upper parts of the North Island overnight.

More info:

— MetService (@MetService) August 2, 2021

Gale southerlies are expected to develop in eastern areas including Canterbury, with the strongest winds expected on the Kaikōura Coast and Wellington.

Road snowfall warnings are in place for the Lewis (SH7), Arthur’s (SH73), Haast (SH6) and Lindis (SH8) passes – and the Crown Range, Milford and Desert roads.

Road closures and disruptions

SH94 Te Anau to Milford is currently closed due to overnight snow. It is expected to reopen later this morning.

SH73 near Porters Pass was closed to towing vehicles and chains were essential but it has since reopened ao all vehicles. NZTA Waka Kotahi says motorists should still take care.

The road is now OPEN to all vehicles. However, please continue to take extra care on this route. ^SM

— Waka Kotahi NZTA Canterbury & West Coast (@WakaKotahiCWC) August 2, 2021

Motorists using SH1 Rangitata/Hinds are being warned to take extra care after reports of surface flooding in the area.

A strong wind warning is in place for SH7 Hanmer turnoff to Springs Junction.

“Extra care is required by those driving high-sided vehicles and motorcycles until conditions improve,” an NZTA Waka Kotahi spokesperson said.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council is asking motorists to drive to the conditions this morning.

A spokesperson said snow has fallen on the Crown Range overnight and it is very icy. Chains are to be carried when driving on the road.

They said there has also been snow on the Lindis Pass, with more to come.

“The road is currently cleared and gritted. Please carry chains and know how to use them, if you’re headed that way.

“For the rest of us, overall, mild temperatures this morning with wet roads in the Whakatipu basin. The temperatures are colder around Arthurs Point and Malaghans Rd.
In Wānaka, we have mild temperatures with wet roads.”

64mm of rain has fallen on the Christchurch Akaroa Highway as well as 24mm in central Christchurch this morning.

The Christchurch Travel Information Team is warning motorists to take extra care, especially those on bikes or motorcycles “as some of the wind gusts we have been getting are very strong”.

A spokesperson said the storm has hit with a punch “with strong winds and driving rain being the dominant features this morning”.

They said they have had reports of surface flooding south of Christchurch.

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