Surface flooding on Colombo Rd, Masterton. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
Torrential downpours, snow flurries on the Remutakas and wind speeds averaging 100kmh at the coast. Thursday marked the start of wild wintry weather in Wairarapa that is expected to last until tomorrow.
Wednesday night’s downpour in Masterton had 42.8mm rainfall – almost half of the district’s average for June of 105mm.
Debris on Whangaehu Valley Rd in Masterton was cleared by contractors on Thursday, lanes on Colombo Rd were partially blocked by surface flooding, and there were also slips at Whakataki, Castlepoint Rd,
and Mataikona Rd.
In South Wairarapa, White Rock Rd was closed due to surface flooding from Lagoon Hills Rd through to Tora Rd.
MetService notified sleet warnings and asked drivers to be wary when driving near the top of the Remutaka Hill.
Along with the weather came awful driving conditions across Wairarapa, and several crashes as people made their way into work.
At 6.40am, a two-car crash occurred on the troublesome Ngaumutawa Rd-State Highway 2 intersection.
SH2 was partially blocked while towing was arranged. There were no injuries.
On Te Ore Ore Rd, outside Lakeview School, two cars crashed resulting in damage to a red Toyota.
A single-car crash was also reported on SH2, coming over Remutaka Hill; there were no serious injuries but the vehicle had to be towed away.
Last night, temperatures were expected to drop to -3 degrees Celsius, and tomorrow, strong northerlies will develop.
New Zealand Transport Agency’s regional transport manager Mark Owen said motorists should be prepared for icy conditions and snow.
“The forecast is also showing high winds, so high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists in particular should take extra care and watch out for debris.”
At the coast, Castlepoint Station manager Jacques Reinhardt said winds were reaching averages of 100kmh.
“In Castlepoint we’ve got virtually one road in and one road out so if anything was to happen to the main road we’d be stuck in here for a bit, but it’s not even close to that point.”
Reinhardt said although conditions were not ideal, he was happy with the weather.
“I’m pretty pleased that we’re getting rain that’s topping up the subsoil moisture – it’s good for our spring.
“I would say at this point I’m actually pretty happy, it’s not great but I haven’t got any stock that have just been freshly shorn and it’s feeding the topping of the soil and the dams that were so low.”
– Additional reporting by Arthur Hawkes