Milford Road reopens

The Milford Road has reopened after being closed due to the risk of an avalanche.

A warning for State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford Sound was put in place yesterday from about 4.30pm, closing the highway, with Milford Sound residents having to stay put.

The road reopened about 12.30pm today.

Earlier, Milford Road Alliance manager Kevin Thompson said the avalanche risk had increased because of a rainband moving through Fiordland.

"We've got rain, including thunderstorms, to reasonably high elevations. Rain onto snow, high in the snow pack, is not a good thing."

Road closures were not uncommon for Milford Sound residents, he said.

''They know how it works and we do talk to each other during the closure to see if there's anybody that needs attention or there's a desperate need to get out."

While there was a lot of snow at high levels, the valley itself was clear which might be misleading to tourists, he said.

"We fully appreciate people might be driving there and it's a lovely green valley and no snow to see at road level, but up high there is still significant snow and will be for several months." 

Milford Road Alliance said more rain was expected for the next few days, with heavy rain turning to sleet or snow on Sunday and wet snow easing to showers on Monday.

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