Bay of Plenty motorists are urged to take extra care with heavy rain expected to lash the region today.
Most of the upper half of the North Island is under the threat of thunderstorms with heavy rain warnings in place for Bay of Plenty with between 80 and 100mm of rainfall expected to accumulate in the inland areas from 1am to 7pm.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's Bay of Plenty system manager Rob Campbell said motorists should remain alert, expect the unexpected and drive with care.
"MetService has issued a severe weather warning for rainfall in the Bay of Plenty from 1am through until 7pm, with particularly heavy localised downpours possible between 2pm and 5pm. "
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Campbell said north-westerly wind gusts of 80-100km/h were also possible and there was a moderate risk of thunderstorms.
"Avoid unnecessary travel, drive to the conditions and watch out for surface flooding, slips and fallen trees or branches. Driving conditions may be hazardous at times so please reduce your speed to stay safe.
Campbell also urged motorists to be mindful of contractors who could be out clearing hazards off the road and to drive slowly through work sites.
"We want to see everyone get home safely. Stay safe and stay alert."
He also urged motorists to check intended routes for hazards or disruptions before setting out, using the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website.