The thaw is now on with no further snow in the Wakatipu Basin this afternoon.
This has allowed Council contractors to start clearing secondary roads in the Wakatipu Basin and footpaths in the Queenstown town centre, which will continue tonight and into tomorrow, pending no further snow.
Roads and gutters are streaming in some cases with snow melt which will create further problems overnight. The Council is warning residents that the saturated and thawing roads are likely to freeze, creating even more hazardous conditions tomorrow morning.
“People may be tempted to venture out in the morning but it is likely we could see frozen roads across the district and region. Extreme care is likely to still be the order of the day,” Queenstown Lakes District Council transport manager Denis Mander said.
Chains continue to be still essential for travel in many parts of the Wakatipu Basin including the Frankton to Kingston highway.
Residents are asked to check on neighbours, particularly older citizens and young families to ensure they are warm and have supplies. Assistance may also be appreciated for private driveway and footpath clearance, which should be done before the snow freezes.
Meanwhile chains continue to be essential for travel further afield in Central Otago. The Lindis Pass remains closed and will be reviewed tomorrow morning at 8am.
The Council and libraries are open, however rubbish and recycling collection services have been suspended until further notice (with the exception of the recycling collection at Wanaka and rubbish clearance in the town centres.
Flights have resumed at Queenstown Airport.