Playing in the snow at John McGlashan College yesterday are (from left) Peter MacNab (9), Ollie Cashmore (9), Angus McMillan (10), Theo Hannagan (9), Zach Cashmore (4) and Milla Cashmore (7). Photo by Peter McIntosh.
It was a morning of mayhem on roads as winter gave Dunedin
residents a cruel reminder yesterday.
• Snow in Dunedin
on Friday slideshow
Police and the New Zealand Transport Agency are warning
motorists to be careful on the roads again this morning, with
frosty conditions and wet roads creating the perfect recipe
for black ice.
A week after Dunedin's record August temperature was broken,
residents awoke to a city blanketed in snow, with schools
closed and cars sliding into each other and off the road.
MetService duty forecaster Philippa Murdoch said it was
expected to become ''fine and frosty'' overnight in Otago,
before another front brought snow to Dunedin early next week.
''That cold southwesterly should come through later on Monday
and we are looking at snow down to 400m or 500m,'' she said.
NZTA coastal Otago maintenance contract manager Nick Rodger
said freezing temperatures were expected this morning and an
area warning was in place for black ice across Otago and
''If it's a fine and frosty morning ... the roads are going
to be absolutely treacherous with the amount of water around
and the snow that hasn't melted dragging the temperature
down,'' Mr Rodger said.
Yesterday, police were warning motorists - particularly those
living in Dunedin hill suburbs - to avoid non-essential
travel, after dozens of vehicles were abandoned.
Senior Sergeant Craig Brown said emergency services were kept
busy attending crashes, prompting a warning from police.
''These incidents are a reminder that on days when severe
winter weather strikes, it's very important to drive to the
conditions or consider carefully your need to drive at all.''
Road conditions were expected to be treacherous this morning
with frost expected overnight, he said.
''People who intend to travel should ensure that they are
aware of the latest road conditions before they set out on
their journey and also that they are well-prepared,'' Snr Sgt
Brown said Yesterday, several hill suburb routes became
''almost impassable'' to anyone other than those with a 4WD
or a vehicle with chains, Snr Sgt Brown said.
Dunedin police also attended half a dozen crashes, including
three at the Fairfield off-ramp, after a hailstorm, about
Dunedin City Council transportation policy engineer Jon
Visser said the snow was ''relatively light'', but closed
three city roads - Stuart St, Taieri Rd and Three Mile Hill.
All had reopened by yesterday afternoon.
State Highway 1 from Dunedin to Waitati was restricted to
non-towing vehicles only.
''We had good warnings going out last night, and everyone was
well-prepared for it, both staff and contractors,'' Mr Visser
''We were out there with ploughs, brooms, CMA and grit,
dealing with each road as prioritised.''
Otago Daily Times distribution manager Kevin McGregor
said the conditions did not stop staff from getting papers
out to all but a small number of rural areas.
''Everybody did a good job getting out and about [but] we had
a wee bit of trouble getting some of the trucks home,'' Mr
New Zealand Post said there was no mail delivery in Dunedin
Bus services in hill suburbs did not run yesterday morning
because of snow and ice, although most services on the flat
By afternoon, only the Halfway Bush-Brockville service was
affected, and was not travelling via Dalziel Rd. Moana Pool
stayed open, although some events were cancelled, the Chinese
Garden was closed, Dunedin City Library closed at 5pm and
book bus runs were cancelled.
Rubbish and recycling collections were cancelled, and would
be done today.
Roads across Otago were closed in the morning. State Highway
87 between Kyeburn and Outram and SH6 between Kingston and
Lumsden remained closed by snow and ice last night. State
Highway 85 between Kyeburn and Palmerston was closed to
towing vehicles and trucks.