Key Canterbury-West Coast route closed overnight

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 09, 2023 |

A slip on a key West Coast/Canterbury route has closed SH73 west of Jacksons until tomorrow.

“The slip material should be cleared and the highway reopened by 10am Friday,” Waka Kotahi West Coast maintenance contract manager Moira Whinham said.

The local roads between Greymouth/ Stillwater and Lake Brunner/ Jacksons are the detour route for most traffic.

A sizeable slip near Turiwhate Creek covered the highway before midday after torrential rain today

A heavy rain warning had earlier been issued for the Westland region for 33 hours from 9am on Wednesday, and a severe thunderstorm warning for nine hours from 3pm on Wednesday.

MetService has Severe Weather Warnings in force for Westland as well as for the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers.

MetService meteorologist John Law says,  “Wednesday’s rainfall totals over the ranges of Westland exceeded 100mm in many spots and at Haast a thunderstorm produced over 30mm in less than an hour. Today (9 March), the active front bringing that rain continues to feed more wet weather and thunderstorms into the region.”

The heaviest rainfall is forecast for the ranges of Westland, where a further 80-120mm of rain is possible, however, Heavy Rain Warnings have also been issued for the headwaters of the Canterbury and Otago rivers.  A Heavy Rain Watch has also been issued for Buller and the Nelson Lakes.

“While most of the rainfall will be about and west of the Southern Alps northwesterly winds will be driving some of that rain across into the east. Thunderstorms forming in the east of the South Island  this afternoon are possible as well.” commented Law. 

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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