Snow bunnies set to descend on central North Island after 'beast of a storm' dumps fresh snow




An influx of people coming to enjoy the forecast fine weather and new snow is expected in the central North Island.

The central North Island town has been hit by heavy snow.
Source: 1 NEWS

Ruapehu District Council Emergency Management Centre Controller Clive Manley says driving will still be challenging. "So we would like to ask that everybody takes extra care on Ruapehu roads and looks out for each other."

Yesterday NZTA said most of the highways in the central North Island affected by this week's "beast of a storm" were open except for State Highway 1's Desert Road.

Mr Manley said Downers have extra crew on stand-by over the weekend and will be monitoring roads for ice and have grit trucks ready if needed.

Skifields are trying to open for a busy school holidays weekend. There has been a dump of a metre of snow on Turoa and 40cm on Whakapapa.

"There are massive, delicious wind drifts across the mountain which also means there are a few wind stripped spots that our groomers are working to cover," Turoa said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Mr Manley said an army convoy had arrived in Ohakune with three generators.

Transpower had re-established its feeder station to Waiouru that will allow Powerco to make steady progress on returning power to businesses and households.

"The level of water use is still in a concern in Whakapapa Village and Ohakune and people are urged to continue to conserve water to allow the reservoirs to re-fill overnight," Mr Manley said.

The operator of the Mt Ruapehu ski areas is so pleased with the big dump of snow it's running a one-week sale on season ski passes.

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