Polar blast causes mayhem for motorists
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 6:08p.m.
By Leanne Malcolm
The polar blast today caught many motorists by surprise, causing chaos on the roads.
And while there were plenty of warnings from the MetService, one of the worst-affected areas was around Queenstown and the highway along Lake Wakatipu south to Kingston.
Motorists had been warned about the coming snow but they had forgotten just how disruptive it can be. Just getting into Queenstown was slow and difficult and the frustration was showing.
Several highways were closed because of snow - some drivers were stranded at a café 40 minutes south of Queenstown, waiting for snow ploughs to clear roads.
It came later than expected but when it did, the snow came down thick and fast - and if it keeps up it’s going to cause problems on the roads and for farmers.
On the hills around Dunedin snow fell on lifestyle blocks and also coated the suburbs further down, forcing some schools to start late.
It also caused problems at Queenstown Airport where passengers turned up despite no planes coming or going.
Despite the nuisance value of snow down to lake level, some found time to appreciate the beauty. It’s just a pity it didn't arrive in winter instead of spring.
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