Heavy rain warning for West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast are being urged to take care ahead of a deluge of rain expected this weekend.

MetService has issued an orange level warning for much of the West Coast, with up to 400mm of rain expected in some places from midnight tonight.

The warning covers from Westland to Fiordland, with Saturday expected to bring heavy rainfall.

The forecaster warns the deluge may cause rivers and streams to rapidly rise and surface flooding and slips are possible, before the warning expires at midday on Sunday.

Heavy rain in parts of Westland may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly and possible slips and surface flooding could make driving hazardous.

A West Coast Regional Council spokesperson said emergency management staff are monitoring the situation and are ready to respond if needed.

A heavy rain watch has also been issued for the Buller District and the Canterbury high country, with periods of heavy rain that may approach warning criteria.

Motorists are advised to check the Waka Kotahi/ NZ Transport Agency website before travelling.

"Please take extra care, check the forecast before you head out and the traffic and travel map," said journey manager Tresca Forrester.

"People should be ready for stormy weather across the Coast from South Westland north and on the alpine passes. Heavy rain can reduce visibility for drivers so keep your lights on if that is the case," she said.

"Waka Kotahi crews are prepared and ready to respond in the event of slips and localised flooding."

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