Snow brings havoc to region

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2013
Stephanie Howarth
READY, AIM: Venessa, 15, and Stephanie Howarth, 18, from Lepperton, have fun yesterday as the snowballs start flying at Pembroke School, east of Stratford.

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Snow closed roads and caused chaos for motorists in central and southern Taranaki yesterday afternoon.

Cars slid off the road and into banks on Opunake and Wiremu roads but no serious injuries were reported.

Police were urging motorists to take extra care as the wintry blast continued. More snow flurries were reported through the night.

Stratford District Council roading assets manager Barry Jagersma said the temperature had dropped to about 3 degrees Celsius at lunch time.

Mr Jagersma said the road to Dawson Falls had been closed from the National Park's boundary while Pembroke Rd was closed at the Mountain House.

He said it had started to snow about 3pm.

"It's starting to settle now, we are getting a sprinkling of white on the ground now.

"It has been looking like that for most of the afternoon."

Farmer Tim Barrett said the races on his Surrey Rd farm at Tariki were white after snow began falling about 2.30pm. "There's enough snow that the four-wheel-drive is skidding sideways in the paddock," he said an hour later. He's expecting to see nice, crisp snow on the farm in today's sunshine.

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