Campers, trampers and boaties are being urged to leave Marlborough today ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Gita.

Marlborough District Council Communications Manager Glyn Walters said they were concerned for trampers and campers who might be relying on tents but that the locals would be able to bunker down if they had sufficient supplies.

"The issue we always get is the slips," he said.

Kenepuru Rd was one of the roads that was prone to slips, he said.


"It's pretty much the windiest road I've ever driven on."

It was essential if people were planning on waiting out the bad weather that they had appropriate supplies, he said.

"Hunters and trampers in the high country should also keep an eye on rapidly rising rivers."

Road closures from high river levels were possible at the Pelorus across SH6, Wakamarina Rd, Queen Charlotte track at Havelock, SH1 beside the Para Swamp and SH63 Wairau Valley.

The southeast rainfall was likely to cause high flows in the Taylor, Opaoa, and lower Awatere tributaries and the Opaoa fords could close overnight on Tuesday.

Severe gales would batter the coastline on Tuesday and Wednesday with southeasterlies expected to reach 130 km/h in exposed places.

Nelson and Tasman residents were also being warned to prepare for gale force winds.

The power of the storm had potential to impact power and water supplies as the local Civil Defence warned residents in low lying coastal areas to stay with family and friends overnight.


The Nelson and Tasman Civil Defence (CD) is warning the power of Gita will be similar to that of ex-cyclone Fehi which battered and flooded several properties two weeks ago.

Those same properties were likely to be affected again.

The storm would also likely result in surface flooding on roads making travel around the region difficult.

Winds of up to 140km/h were also anticipated which had the potential to topple trees and make driving difficult.

NZTA would be closing Rocks Road/ State Highway 6 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Tuesday, 3 hours either side of high tide.

CD staff were being sent to the Golden Bay area early in case the Takaka Hill Road was affected.

Large rubbish bags filled with soil could be used if sandbags were not available. The council did not provide sandbags to individual addresses.