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Harbour Bridge could close on Monday as 'severe gales' expected to hit Auckland

Harbour Bridge could close on Monday as ‘severe gales’ expected to hit Auckland

Road closures

The wild weather has also seen a number of roads closed throughout New Zealand.

In the South Island, motorists are being urged to take care on southern roads, with many closed on Monday morning because of snow.

State Highway 93 between Clinton to Mataura in Southland is closed due to snow and ice and State Highway 94 from Te Anau to Milford (Milford Road) at Hollyford Rd and The Chasm is also shut.

NZTA reported at 9am that there was surface flooding on SH8 from Roxborough to Raes Junction, with motorists urged to drive with care and prepare for unexpected hazards. 

In Otago, the State Highway 85 Kyeburn to Macraes Road turnoff and State Highway 87 Kyeburn to Outram were both closed due to heavy snow.

In the North Island, State Highway 1 Waiouru to Rangipo (Desert Road) has reopened on Monday morning after being closed because of ice overnight. 

Weather watches and warnings

MetService updated its weather warnings and watches on Monday morning, with large parts of New Zealand in the firing line.

A fresh heavy rain warning has been issued for Southland, Clutha and Dunedin until 6pm on Monday. 

The forecaster said a further 60mm of rain is expected to fall on top of what has already fallen.

“Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous,” MetService said. 

Strong wind is expected to lash parts of the North and South Island. A strong wind warning has been issued for the Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier Island until 9pm and for Clutha, Dunedin and North Otago until 9pm on Tuesday. 

MetService said these areas should expect “severe gale” with south-westerlies gusting up to 120km/ph in exposed places. 

“Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles,” MetService said. 

A strong wind watch is in place for the majority of the North Island until Monday evening, with severe gales expected in exposed places.

The watch is in place for Northland, Auckland excluding Great Barrier Island, Waikato, Waitomo, Bay of Plenty west of Whakatane, Taranaki, the Central High Country, Whanganui, Manawatu, the Tararua District, Hawke’s Bay about and south of State Highway 5, Wellington and Wairarapa. 

Further south, the watch is also in place for Nelson, Marlborough south of Blenheim, Banks Peninsula, Fiordland, Southland and Stewart Island.

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