Motorists warned over Cyclone Cody threat

File Image. SunLive.

Waka Kotahi NZTA is encouraging people to check the weather forecast before travelling this weekend, with the remnants of Cyclone Cody expected to hit New Zealand in the coming days.

While there is some uncertainty regarding the actual track of Cyclone Cody, MetService is currently forecasting that it will approach the country on Sunday and affect a large portion of the northern and eastern North Island and the upper South Island.

MetService issued a severe weather warning for Monday earlier today, placing a strong wind watch in place for the Bay of Plenty, east of Whakatāne and heavy rain and strong wind watches in play for much of the east.

Waka Kotahi national journey manager Helen Harris is advising motorists across the country to be prepared for large swells on low-lying coastal roads, heavy rain and severe gales.

“We will be monitoring the situation closely and crews will be ready to implement any necessary road closures if the weather gets too dangerous for motorists,” says Helen.

She says weather like this often results in fallen trees, slips and debris on the roads.

“If the cyclone does hit the country as forecast, we can expect this to happen so people need to be prepared,” she says.

“Driving will be challenging in these conditions, so people will need to take extra care. Avoid travel if the weather gets very bad, but if you do need to travel then please drive to the conditions - keep speeds down, maintain a safe following distance and stay alert.

People travelling in high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorcycles need to be particularly cautious and should consider delaying travel until the severe weather dies down, even if the roads are open, given the strong gusts of wind expected.

“The weather can change quickly so people should check the forecast before heading out this weekend,” says Helen.

“We also encourage motorists to check our Waka Kotahi social media pages and Journey Planner webpage which is where we will provide updates about any incidents or closures on the state highway network.

“If you come across any hazards on the roads, such as fallen frees, rockfall or flooding, please report this to 0800 4 HIGHWAYS so that we can get a crew out there as quickly as possible.”

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