Wellington Scoop

SH1 traffic delayed by three crashes; heavy rain cancels wine and food festival

Three crashes today caused delays to traffic on State Highway One north of Wellington.

The first crash, near the Otaki River bridge, closed the highway for an hour this morning. The road has since reopened but traffic delays of 45 minutes in both directions were continuing at 1.45pm.

The second crash was north of the Whenua Tapu cemetery. It blocked a north-bound lane of the road just before 1pm. The lane was reopened an hour later.

The third crash was reported at 2.55pm – it was delaying northbound traffic near Tawa.

MetService this morning issued a severe weather warning for Wellington, the Kapiti Coast and Horowhenua. It said:

Heavy rain is expected at times today with possible thunderstorms in the north this morning. In the 10 hours from 6am to 4pm today, expect 50 to 70mm of rain. Peak rates of 15 to 25mm per hour are possible this morning, especially in any thunderstorms.

There was also an early morning warning from NZ Police:

Heavy rain across the Wellington region is making driving challenging and motorists are asked to drive to conditions. Drivers need to slow down, increase their following distances and take their time.

Because of the heavy rain, the first day of the Wellington Wine, Food and Craft Beer Festival on Waitangi Park was cancelled yesterday. A decision was due this morning on whether today’s session would go ahead or not. When the decision was made: the entire event was cancelled, because of the weather.

This afternoon, the Transport Agency advised that Block Road alongside the Hutt River in Lower Hutt was closed by flooding.

And flooding was also reported in Hawkes Bay: Police are advising motorists to take extra care on the roads in central Hawke’s Bay as heavy rain is causing surface flooding. Two of the worst affected areas are the Takapau township and State Highway 50 near Paget Road.