Snow: What You Need To Know - Tuesday

07:10, Aug 16 2011


The following roads are closed -

North Island:

State Highway 58 (Haywards) between State Highway 2 to Moonshine Road, Lower Hutt.

The Rimutaka Hill Road


Paekakariki Hill Road

Blue Mountains Road, Upper Hutt

Wainuiomata Hill Road in Lower Hutt

Earlier today:

SH49 Ohakune to Waiouru

SH4 Whanganui to National Park

SH46 Tongariro to Rangipo

SH47 National Park to Turangi

SH2 Rimutaka Hill

SH2 Te Marua to Pakuratahi

SH2 Morere to Bartletts

SH2 Mount Bruce

SH1 Waiouru to Vinegar Hill

SH1 Desert Road - Rangipo to Waiouru

SH2 Eketahuna To Mount Bruce

Some other roads were closed due to adverse weather and repairs. To find out more visit here

South Island:

SH6 Kingston to Five Rivers

SH7 Springs Junction - Reefton

SH7 Hanmer Junction to Springs Junction ( Lewis Pass)

SH73 Arthurs to Otira

SH73 Springfield to Arthurs Pass

SH6 Queenstown to Kingston

SH 96 Mataura to Te Tipua

SH 1 Kaikoura to Waipara

SH65 Osullivans Bridge to Springs Junction ( Shenandoah)

SH79 Geraldine to Fairlie

SH63 Wairau Valley to Kawatiri

SH8 Fairlie to Tekapo

SH8 Omarama to Tarras ( Lindis Pass)

SH85 Kyeburn to Palmerston

SH87 Outram to Kyeburn

SH93 Clinton to Mataura

SH94 Te Anau to Milford Sound

Only vehicles with chains can use the following roads:

SH97 Five Rivers to Mossburn

SH6 Makarora Hawea

SH94 Te Anau to Milford Sound

SH83 Kurow to Omarama

SH94 Mossburn to Te Anau

SH6 Haast to Makarora

SH8 Raes Junction to Milton

SH85 Ranfurly to Omakau

SH75 Cooptown to Barrys Bay

Hazardous driving conditions:

Newlands, Wainuiomata, and Karori are among the most hazardous zones in Wellington this morning, with police advising residents not to drive unless absolutely necessary.

The Transport Agency are liaising with police to get the slush swept off roads, and grit poured over the worst-hit places to give more traction.

These include the Ngauranga Gorge, State Highway One near Otaki, Levin and Manakau, and State Highway 56 near the Longburn overbridge where numerous cars are reported to have slid off the road.

The black ice has already seen one car slide off the road on the southbound lane near the Tawa offramp this morning.

How to drive

Use chains or four-wheel-drive vehicles if snow and ice is heavy.

Slow down. Reduce speeds significantly, particularly on steep hills, and watch following distances.

Go easy on the accelerator and brake. Drive gently.

If you start skidding on ice, press lightly on the brake, then stop.

Take extra care in the mornings when roads are more likely to be icy.

How to de-ice your windscreen

Pour cold water over an iced windscreen. Hot water can cause it to crack.

Airports: Christchurch Airport is open. An airport spokesperson said flights would begin to depart after 10am at the airlines' discretion, but warned passengers to expect disruptions to flights and to check with airlines for the latest schedules.

Queenstown airport has re-opened but advises passengers to check with their airline whether their flights are operating.

Flights have been operating out of Dunedin airport however there have been some cancellations and delays.

Wellington Airport's runway was open but an airport spokeswoman said it was at the airlines' discretion whether they flew or not.

Invercargill airport is open.

Trains/Buses: All bus services in Christchurch have been cancelled.

Some Wellington bus services have also been cancelled. They included routes 3, 8, 20 and 21 to Karori, Kowhai Park, between Highbury and Mt Victoria and Wrights Hill and Vogeltown. Valley Flyer services to Emerald Hill, Valley Heights and Newlands route 53 have also been cancelled.

Other services have been affected, with many having to take alternate routes and abandon driving on certain roads.

Buses were replacing trains on the Kapiti line.

More information on what services have been affected can be found here.

Ferries: The Interislander and Blue Bridge Cook Strait ferries are running.


All kindergartens from Pukerua Bay south (including Pukerua Bay Kindergarten and Pre School) are closed today.

Wellington's closed schools:

Wadestown School
Karori Normal School
Makara Model School
Clifton Terrace School
Clyde Quay School in Mt Victoria
Ridgway School
Karori West Normal School
Khandallah School
St Benedict's School
Onslow College
Otari School in Winton
Oxford Crescent Primary School in Upper Hutt
Normandale School in Lower Hutt
Cashmere Avenue School in Khandallah
Heretaunga College in Upper Hutt
Northland School
Newlands College
Eastern Hutt School
Johnsonville School

Schools in Southland are closed.

A spokesperson for The Ministry of Education said he expected most schools in affected areas would be closed today. He said the schools that were closed yesterday would probably remain closed today. He said it was up to schools whether they were open or not and advised parents to contact their children's school.

Cashmere High School and Christchurch Boys' High School were both closed for the day.

The University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology are both closed for the day.

The University of Otago's Dunedin campus is open.

Power: Close to 1000 Christchurch homes are without power. The most affected areas included Rakaia, West Melton, Leeston and Greendale. An Orion spokeswoman said crews were working on repairing the network but access to the affected areas could be difficult.

About 50 homes remain without power outside Wellington, and Powerco was reporting 300 homes without power in South Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa.

Powerco Network Coordination Manager Dean Stevenson said field staff would continue working throughout the day and expected to repair the network today, weather permitting.

Power company Orion said there have been 13 outages in Canterbury affecting Lincoln, Dunsandel and Rakaia, Canterbury.

Medical: The Canterbury District Health Board said all elective surgery and outpatient clinics at its Christchurch, Christchurch Women's, Burwood and Ashburton Hospitals would be cancelled again today. Emergency and urgent surgery, such as cancer surgery, would go ahead.

Those booked in for surgery at St Georges or Southern Cross Hospitals were urged to phone the hospital to confirm whether their surgery would go ahead.

Mental Health outpaitent clinics st Hillmorton Hospital were also cancelled.

Dunedin and Wakari hospitals have resumed elective surgery and outpatient clinics.

The Southern District Health Board said due to the improved road conditions all services are running normally.

Meals on Wheels: Canterbury DHB said it was working with Red Cross and the four wheel drive club to deliver Meals on Wheels today, and expects the meals to be delievered as usual.

Mail:  NZ Post has cancelled many deliveries around the country for a second day.

Spokesman Michael Tull said postal staff "pulled out all the stops to resume mail deliveries where possible - but road closures and icy conditions created some unavoidable delays."

Mail could not be sent to Eltham, Palmerston North, Levin, Feilding, Masterton, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton, Martinborough, Eketahuna, Dannevirke, Ohakune, Raetihi, Waiouru, Taihape, Picton, Havelock, Christchurch, Asburton, Alexandra, Queenstown, Wanaka, Gore, and parts of Dunedin.

In Nelson, Richmond, Takaka, Motueka, and Blenheim only local mail as well as yesterday's mail was delivered. Only local post was distributed in Timaru and Greymouth.

In Wellington, mail couldn't be dropped off to Wellington City, Hutt Valley, Porirua, and the Kapiti Coast.

Courts: Christchurch, Rangiora, Ashburton, Queenstown and Upper Hutt courts are closed today. The Christchurch High Court is also closed.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said urgent High Court matters could be filed at the Wellington registry and all other court business would continue as usual.


Look after pets

All pets must by law have access to shelter at all times and deserve to be warm.

If they must remain outside, ensure they have proper shelter and extra bedding.

If you notice an animal being neglected or without proper shelter, call the SPCA on 04 389 8044.

How to keep warm

Ensure your power bill is topped up and you have adequate wood or fuel supplies.

Wear thermal underwear and multiple layers of warm clothing.

Plug draughts and ensure your home is properly insulated.

Eat hot meals and drink plenty of warm drinks.

If you don't have to go out, stay indoors.

What about my heat pump?

Heat pumps can appear to switch off in very cold weather.

This happens when the temperature falls to about 4 degrees Celsius and frost forms on outer coils.

Don't touch your system. It will kick back into action once it has auto-defrosted.

Watch for signs of hypothermia

Hypothermia results from excessive cooling of the body.

Generally it occurs in cold conditions where clothing is inadequate. It is more rapid if a person is wet or exposed to cold wind.

Prevent hypothermia by dressing warmly and keeping dry.

Hypothermia is mild if the person is awake, talking and able to walk.

Seek medical assistance if hypothermia is severe; ie the person is very sleepy, unable to walk with assistance, or unconscious.

Look out for the elderly

Check regularly on elderly relatives or friends.

Make sure they have adequate food and warm clothing.

Ensure they have enough fuel to power fires or burners, and that power accounts are topped up.

What should I do if my water pipes freeze?

Pipes can freeze and burst from about 4C or lower. Often you won't know till water starts to flood the house.

Disconnect your water mains.

Turn on the cold water bath tap and run to drain pipes.