Be careful! Crashes as ice grips South

Motorists in the Queenstown Lakes district were warned this morning of "extremely icy conditions" as last night's rain and sub-zero temperatures this morning combined to cause black ice.

A police spokeswoman said there had been three ice related crashes in the Queenstown area in the last 24 hours and repeated the police message for drivers to exercise caution when it was icy.

It was not immediately apparent how serious the crashes were.

As temperatures rise the worst of the icy conditions appear to be over now and NZTA has lifted cautions which were earlier in place for Southern highways.

Central Otago District Council was also earlier warning of the risk of black ice earlier this morning, which was particularly expected around day break after drizzle in some areas over night. 

It also warned of ice on bridge decks and white frost patches on some shaded areas.

At 8am it issued an alert saying black ice had been reported in the Cromwell and Bannockburn areas.

NZTA earlier ice cautions in place for multiple highways across the South, including for black ice on SH6 between Haast, Wanaka and Cromwell and on the Kawarau Gorge, but all had been removed by 10am.

Dunedin has much warmer conditions with the city's airport reaching 9degC by 7.30am.

Queenstown Lakes District Council said there was "extremely icy conditions" in the region this morning and black ice affected multiple roads across its network following last night's rain.

"Grit trucks and road crews are doing their best to take of as many spots as they can, but they can't find every single patch."

Light snow fell on the Crown Range over night and early this morning and trucks were moving snow of the road this morning. 

However, the council reminded people that chains should be carried.

For those wanting to become more familiar with fitting chains Downer was hosting demonstrations this morning Wanaka and Queenstown.

Sessions were from 10.00am to 12.00pm and would take place on the Wanaka lakefront in the car park by the log cabin/playground, and at the Ballarat St/Stanley St parking lot in Queenstown. 

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