Feb 6, 5:28 PM
Southland District Council and Highways South roading update.
Following a fly over of the lower Mataura area we can confirm the preferred option in and out is along Wyndham Road and Wyndham Letter Box Road. This is still contingent on access through Mataura.
We are working on an establishing a one lane gravel track for the section of road which has been damaged between Wyndham and the bridge. Depending on the rate of water receding this is expected to take up to 4 hours and the final work will use the material used for the sandbagging.
At the moment there are vehicles using the Slope Down Road to move out of the area however, this is not a preferred route due to the type of road it is. Our preference would be to have people wait until the road link through Wyndham is re-established.
We understand that there may be people who are out of fuel Tokanui/Fortrose. There is the potential to bring fuel in via Owaka through Chasland Highway to Tokanui. While the road is closed this has been put in place for those wanting to get access to Invercargill.
The water is receding and we have had contractors out in the area.
SouthRoads have been undertaking a preliminary assessment of the roads in Northern Southland and we expect to have that information later today.
A quick overview of roads from Highways South:
- SH 1 Clinton – Gore – Open with caution
- SH 1 Gore – Mataura – Closed\SH 6 Five Rivers – Frankton – Open
- SH 6 Makarewa River – Open with caution
- SH 93 Clinton – Mataura – Closed
- SH 94 The Key – Open with caution
- SH 97 Mossburn – Fiver Rivers – Open with caution
- SH 99 Makarewa River – Closed
Feb 6, 4:45 PM
Frankton to Kingston/ Five Rivers in Southland reopens, SH6
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency reopened SH6 from Queenstown’s Frankton to Kingston and Five Rivers in Southland after 3 pm this afternoon, after morning and yesterday evening convoys to allow traffic out of Te Anau and Queenstown.
Mataura highways remaining closed overnight
The two highways through the central part of the lower South Island which remain closed are SH93 Clinton to Mataura and SH1 Mataura to Gore, both due to flooding and Civil Defence concerns. Civil Defence will reassess their closed status at 8 am Friday, 7 February. Check the Transport Agency’s website for updates:https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/regions/14
Other changes since this morning
SH96 Mataura to Te Tipua and onto Winton reopened around midday today and SH90 Waikoikoi to Tapanui reopened around 3 pm with a 30 km/ hour speed restriction.
Other information on the Milford Road highway remain unchanged and are in our earlier media update, noting that there is access around Gore to Invercargill : https://nzta.govt.nz/media-releases/waitangi-day-morning-update-for-flooding-and-highway-access-southland-and-otago-gore-reconnected/
Feb 6, 3 PM
The Council and emergency services were now working as quickly as possible to get a plan in place to get Mataura residents back into their homes.
In Gore, Ontario Street residents and business owners were still unable to get back into their properties.
This afternoon there were multiple pumps getting rid of flood waters, in a bid to open the street. A significant amount of water entered several properties, which will take some time to clean up.
Residents of Wyndham can return home but are being advised to be very careful driving as there is significant damage to roads and bridges surrounding the town. There is no direct road access from Edendale or Mataura and if people are not in the local area, they will not be able to get home to Wyndham.
The stopbanks alongside the Mataura River held back the floodwaters so there is unlikely to be flood water in the town. There is, however, likely to be damage to infrastructure so Wyndham residents are asked to restrict water and toilet use. Southland District Council teams are assessing this today.
The town of Mataura remains cut off with cordons in place until emergency teams have completed assessments of flooding and infrastructure damage. People are advised not to attempt to travel to or through Mataura on SH1, SH93 or SH96.
Emergency Management Southland controller Bruce Halligan said he realised that people were very keen to get back to their homes.
“Our first concern is for people’s safety. People should take care when driving and keep away from flooded areas.”
Southland is no longer isolated with an access route between Invercargill and Dunedin open for light traffic.
While several roads around Mataura remain closed, an available route can be accessed from:
- SH1 north of Edendale for light vehicles only.
- Follow Pioneer Highway to Brydone-Glencoe Road and then Te Tipua School Road to Te Tipua before turning left onto Waimumu Road and taking it through to Gore.
- Travelers can then connect with SH1 from Gore to Dunedin.
- This detour is not available for heavy traffic, in particular HPMV.
The towns of Mataura and Wyndham are being assessed from 8am Thursday morning for flooding impacts by teams from Emergency Management Southland.
Emergency Management Southland controller Angus McKay said there had been reports last night of some flooding in the main streets of Mataura, but flood waters were receding.
“Our first concern is for people’s safety. We understand that people who have been evacuated are very keen to get back to their properties, but they should not attempt to return until we have carried out the assessments.
“We need to make sure that roads and bridges are safe as well as check for damage to infrastructure. We ask that people stay put and stay safe and keep away from floodwaters.
“We will provide residents with an update later this morning on when they are likely to be able to return home.”
A FENZ team will also assess the state of the ouvea premix stored at the Mataura paper mill.