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Washed out section of McVicar Rd. Supplied.

Temporary access has been restored to Mountain Valley Lodge and other residents along washed-out McVicar Rd in Te Haroto in Hastings, with permanent access expected to be completed tonight.

The temporary access for 4WD vehicles was in by 5pm last night, and single lane permanent access is expected to be in place by late this afternoon, according to Hastings District Council.

Full two lane access will not be completed until the Napier-Taupo Rd opens, which will allow culvert pipes to be trucked in. District council staff are hoping the full job can be completed by about midday on Friday.

This morning NZTA still has the Napier-Taupo Rd closed, and says it will reassess the situation at 10am. See: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/areawarnings/145811

Taihape Rd remains closed for all of today after more snow fell in the area last night. The closure is being manned to stop people trying to get past the closure point at the Kaweka Forestry headquarters.

Drivers using the road from Napier north to Wairoa and Gisborne are being asked to take extreme care.

MetService has now lifted its road snow fall warning for the Napier-Taupo Rd.

Meanwhile, fault crews from lines company Unison are continuing to work to get power back on for a few hundred Hawke's Bay residents.

Customers affected are in the areas of Tutira (Pohokura/Ridgemount), Puketitiri, Esk Valley, Patoka, Tangoio and Otamauri.

Unison spokesman Danny Gough said after assessments from the ground on Monday, his team were confident of getting the majority of customers on in a few days, as initially predicted.

“As we dig through by foot, we are uncovering more damage, so restoration will depend on how much more we find. We are hopeful a few more customers will get back on tonight.”

What field crews are noticing is a few people up in the snow, kids playing, where electrical lines are on the ground.

“Electrical lines are no place for playing, so we ask our communities to remember this and be vigilant while network damage remains extensive and buried in snow in some parts.” 

“We are working with Civil Defence who are out there in the community assessing community needs in terms of access, supplies and animal welfare. We have also been liaising with Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and Rural Support to help our community get through this challenging time