Contractors are officially on stand by at State Highway 2 in the Karangahake Gorge to ascertain whether to close the road this afternoon.

Flooding next to State Highway 2 in the Karangahake Gorge. Photo/Melanie Camoin
Flooding next to State Highway 2 in the Karangahake Gorge. Photo/Melanie Camoin

The NZ Transport Agency stated earlier today the highway might be closed at 1pm, following heavy rain.

Communications manager Natalie Dixon said the water level of the Ohinemuri River had risen to such a point, it was not within half a metre from the road.

However, contractors in the gorge said the rain had begun to ease off. It was now a matter of wait and see whether the highway would in fact be closed, she said.

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The Owharoa Falls in the Karangahake Gorge. Photo/Melanie Camoin
The Owharoa Falls in the Karangahake Gorge. Photo/Melanie Camoin

A slip earlier today had closed the highway down to one lane.

There State Highway 25 between Tairua and Whangamata is closed due to flooding in the Duck Creek area.

Motorists are advised to avoid driving in the area and to drive with care throughout the Waikato as heavy rain continues.

For updates on road closures, real time information on highway conditions and incidents or to report issues on the network visit www.nzta.govt.nz call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or follow @nztawaibop on twitter.

The Karangahake Gorge this afternoon. Photo/Diane Drinkwater
The Karangahake Gorge this afternoon. Photo/Diane Drinkwater