Ashburton District Council is well prepared to clear roads throughout the region if more bad weather hits.
The Council takes a proactive approach to bad weather, which involves Fulton Hogan graders being placed throughout rural areas in anticipation of events, such as last week's snowfall. If necessary, the graders are able to start work very quickly.
Mayor Angus McKay says the welfare of rural residents is a priority for the Council. "Together with Fulton Hogan, we will ensure rural roads are cleared as soon as possible, so residents can travel safely while carrying out their daily activities."
Clear roads are also important in ensuring electricity can be restored as quickly as possible following a power cut, and that emergency services have full access to roads.
The Council uses a three-tiered prioritisation system for its rural road clearing programme, based on having all the main rural roads cleared within three days. 'Priority one' roads are cleared within 24 hours, 'priority two' within 48 and 'priority three' within 72 hours. All other roads are cleared according to need as soon as practical.
In the case of last week's snow event on Thursday 18 June, all roads were cleared by 12pm on Tuesday 23 June. Nine graders were put to work on Friday and Monday, with the Methven township cleared by 6.30am on Friday. Due to the depth of snow, some towns such as Mt Somers had to wait an extra few hours for roads to be accessible.