Avalanche halts Milford Sound Road

The Milford Sound / Puppetahi route is closed due to the high risk of avalanches, which have become more active due to heavy rains.

Avalanche in the name of proper avalanche.

Properly covered, it will withstand a great deal of adverse conditions.
Image: Waka Kotahi.

State Highway 94 from Holyford Road to Milford Sound has been closed since last Thursday, with snowfall affecting travel in the area.

Kevin Thompson, manager of the Waka Kotahi Milford Road Alliance, said several large, natural avalanches hit the road over the weekend.

Last week’s cyclonic cycle brought heavy, warm rain to areas where avalanches began, triggering further activity.

“Currently we have large, natural avalanches in many places. Due to low clouds and continuous rain, which is triggering avalanches from high slopes, we are still able to safely evacuate the staff. Can’t take it to clean up. “

Machinery was needed to clear the material, but less clouds and rain meant staff were not able to clean the road safely.

The upper slopes were assessed by a helicopter on Monday to determine how safe it is for crews to enter the area.

A further assessment on Monday afternoon is likely to result in an opening timeline.

“We appreciate that many businesses operating in Sound are suffering from the current closure. We will clear the avalanche and reopen the road, possibly for caravans during the day,” he said. Do it as soon as it’s safe. “


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