Heavy snow in Gisborne causes closed highways, power cuts

Gisborne residents are facing the challenging result of the wintry blast that hit the country overnight on Thursday.

Over a thousand homes have lost electricity and most of the highways were closed around the central plateau starting Thursday. The weather closed off most of the area from the rest of the country.

Stuff reported, however, that there is good news in some areas. Desert Road and State Hightway 49 have been reopened.

State Highways 2 between Gisborne and Wairoa will remain open overnight, according to the Gisborne District Council. If the weather gets worse, however, the council will close it.

“But at this stage both lanes from Bartlett’s Hill to Morere will be open,” Senior Sergeant Maui Aben told reporters.

Repair crews continue to get to the affected areas. “We are working with roading crews to get our faultmen to the lines but … we just can’t get them in to where they need to be,” said Eastland Network general manager Brent Steward.

The extreme weather is expected to die down over the weekend. “The high, also known as an anticyclone, will push in over much of the South Island today then much of New Zealand over the next 72 hours,” reported WeatherWatch.

There is, however, an avalance risk on Mt Taranaki, the New Zealand Avanance Centre warned.

For more updates, check the MetService website here.