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New Zealand: Severe weather causes disruptions on South Island Nov. 8-9

Severe storm causes school and road closures, flight cancelations on South Island November 8; additional rain and snow forecast over the coming hours, with lingering delays expected

08 Nov 11:46 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 11/8/2018, 12:00 AM until 11/12/2018, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Auckland). COUNTRY/REGION South Island

Event

On Thursday, November 8, a severe storm caused school and road closures throughout South Island, delays at Wellington International Airport (WLG), and momentary closure of New Plymouth Airport (NPL). According to local reports, one person remains missing in the vicinity of Haupiri River and dozens of travelers remain stranded across South Island. The risk of avalanches is expected to increase as current rainfall is forecast to turn to snowfall on Friday, November 9.

Additional rainfall is forecast and consequent flooding is to be expected through the end of the day on Friday. Road snow advisories will be in effect for Arthur's Pass, Porters Pass, Lindis Pass, and Crown Range Road from 08:33 (local time) through 21:00 on Friday; also, a heavy snow warning is in effect in the Canterbury High Country from Arthur's Pass southward. Heavy rain warnings are in effect Friday for western Nelson and Buller ranges, and for Westland district from Harihari northward. Transportation delays and cancelations are to be expected throughout New Zealand, especially on domestic intercity transport, through Sunday, November 11.

Advice

Individuals in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of weather alerts, prepare for transportation disruptions (e.g. delays and cancelations) and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. In the event of flooding, remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.

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