Heavy rain hits South Island causing havoc in some areas

NZ 09/11/2018

Heavy rain in the South Island has caused chaos, with fears a woman has been swept away in a West Coast river.

Emergency services were called to reports of a person missing in the Haupiri River, near the Gloriavale community last night.

The search is resuming on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the Goat Creek bridge on State Highway 73 south of Otira, has been washed out.

Parts of State Highway 6 and State Highway 73 are closed due to slips and surface flooding.  The NZTA is also warning motorists of surface water along State Highway 6 from Fox Glacier to Haast.

Westland High School in Hokitika has been closed as buses are unable to navigate roads.

Twenty-five students from Otago Boys' High School are stuck at the school's lodge in the Mount Aspiring National Park.

A creek became too dangerous to cross but the school says there is plenty of food.

Heavy rain warnings remain in place on Friday for the west coast of the South Island and MetService expects the lower north island will continue to be buffeted by gales across the morning.