Weather closes roads; tree down in Christchurch

The fallen tree in Christchurch. Photos: Steve McCaughan
The fallen tree in Christchurch. Photos: Steve McCaughan

A number of South Island state highways are closed due to heavy overnight rain, while a fallen tree has blocked a road in central Christchurch.

Drivers across the South Island are urged to take caution as a number of roads are affected from heavy overnight rain.

Haast Pass is closed due to flooding, and there is surface flooding across a number of state highways this morning.

Area warnings are in place for State Highway 8 between Twizel and Farlie and between Ōhau and Mount Cook, and State Highway 6 from Hokitika to Fox Glacier.

A MetService orange rain warning is in place for the Main Divide and the West Coast until after midday.

Canterbury Regional Council is warning farmland could be flooded as foothill and alpine rivers rise today.

It said erosion from recent floods had weakened some river areas, and high flows today would likely cause further damage.

The Ashburton River may overflow, though the Opihi is expected to stay within capacity.

Council said it would be monitoring vulnerable areas.

Meanwhile, Christchurch motorists have been told the westbound lanes of Harper Ave, at the northern end of Hagley Park, are blocked due to a fallen tree.

Contractors have been advised but police said the tree is likely to take "some time" to remove.

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