Weather problems for Wellington

Heavy rain for the past few days has caused major problems for Wellington. Flooding and hillside slips onto roads and rail lines have almost isolated Wellington city. Both Highway 1 and Highway 2, the only roads out of Wellington, were closed. Highway 1 travels north by the western route to the Kapiti Coast while Highway 2 travels north by the eastern route. The trains were also not working and the railway station was closed. It will be tomorrow afternoon, or later, before trains start again.

Police told Wellington workers who live on the Kapiti Coast, not to try to get home tonight. They should stay with friends in Wellington or find alternative accommodation. However, hotels have no more rooms available.

On the Kapiti Coast, some people have been evacuated from their homes because of rising flood water. Rivers have flooded because of the heavy rain and high tide. More rain is forecast for tomorrow.

People in Wellington know they need better access out of the city. There have been discussions about another highway for some time. If there is an earthquake, it may be difficult for rescuers to get into the city or for people to leave.

Vocabulary

• slips – part of a hill slides onto the road
• evacuated – police help people to leave their house and go to emergency accommodation






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