Wellington Residents Stranded After Bridge Slumps

Publish Date
Thursday, 29 October 2015, 4:28PM

Seventy homes have been cut off after a bridge collapsed in Upper Hutt.

The Bridge Road bridge has slumped in the middle, as a flood swollen river races below.

Upper Hutt City council says alternative routes for those unable to get to and from home are being investigated.

Water and gas services have been cut to the neighbourhood, while sewage is discharging into the Hutt River from pipes impacted by the collapse.

Alternative access to water is being looked at, and residents are asked not to drink water from the river.

The council says engineers have done a preliminary assessment of the collapse, and are now working out how badly damaged it is.

Residents affected are asked to stay home if they're there - and find alternative accommodation if they're not.

Meanwhile, the bad weather was travelling further north.

WeatherWatch said slow, heavy downpours were moving towards Whangarei and central Northland within the next hour from 3pm.

Surface flooding was possible, the forecaster said.

Widespread flooding on Kapiti Coast

Rivers were running high today, flowing faster than normal, and the Council advised Kapiti residents to stay away from waterways.

"We are expecting a king tide around midday which means the river mouths will take on a lot more water."

Workers were seen pumping out water from a property near Paraparaumu this afternoon.

The council said some roads were also treacherous after the downpours today.

"Stay home if you don't have to travel."

The council said people in flood-prone areas should make sure their drains were clear.

"Given the weather conditions, parents should consider meeting their children when school ends at 3pm."

The Otaki Gorge Rd was closed just before midday and the Akatarawa Rd was closed due to a slip on the Upper Hutt side.

Kapiti Coast District Council said the Otaihanga Domain and Otaraua Park were also closed.

WeatherWatch said "the main weather risk" for New Zealand today came from a front sweeping over Northland, and perhaps northern parts of Auckland.

The front would continue building until this evening.

"This could bring a few heavy falls, with these more likely to occur about eastern Northland," WeatherWatch said.

Eastern parts of Northland could also expect a few thunderstorms from afternoon.In Auckland, cloudy conditions were forecast, with patches of rain possible across the region this afternoon.

WeatherWatch expected patchy showers changing to rain this afternoon in Christchurch.

Wellington Region Emergency Management Office said Block Road and the Riverbank Carpark in the Hutt Valley were closed due to flooding.

Source- NZ Herald.