Hawke's Bay is set to be lashed with more heavy rain, and strong winds as the clean up begins from yesterday's deluge.

Heavy rain pounded the region yesterday, causing mass flooding and landslips. Today the damage will be assessed - more than 80 homes were flooded yesterday, and it is expected to take several weeks to clear some roads of damage.

This morning Metservice issued another severe weather warning for the region, with heavy rain forecast for areas north of Hastings.

A low pressure system east of the North Island is delivering rain with heavy falls and thunderstorms to parts of Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. The low is forecast to move away to the east this afternoon and the rain should ease.


At this stage, rain with heavy falls and thunderstorms was expected until early afternoon, when it would ease to occasional showers. Rainfall accumulations may reach warning criteria in some places during this time.

Southerlies could be strong in exposed places.

Areas of Eskdale were completely flooded after the nearby Esk River broke its banks. Photo/Paul Taylor.
Areas of Eskdale were completely flooded after the nearby Esk River broke its banks. Photo/Paul Taylor.

The heaviest rainfall was expected in the Wairoa District and Gisborne south of about Tokomaru Bay until this afternoon, and a heavy rain Warning is in force for these areas.

Rain with some heavy falls and possible thunderstorms were expected. A further 60 to 90mm of rain might accumulate during this period on top of what has already fallen.

Peak intensities of 20 to 30mm per hour and thunderstorms possible.

A warning for Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay from Hastings southwards had been lifted, as rain eased this morning.

Work begins today to help those impacted by the flooding yesterday, which occured when 312mm of rain overnight Wednesday rapidly raised the Esk River levels, threatening homes and properties.

Overnight Thursday rain intensity slowed and no calls for assistance were received. While more heavy rain is forecast today, it is expected to be spread over longer periods of time.

This means rivers were not expected to rise rapidly, as occurred yesterday.

Today Hastings District Council has teams in the worst hit areas around Esk Valley and Rissington, calling door-to-door to assess homes and the needs of residents.

Indications were over 80 homes would need to be visited.

Floodwaters rose rapidly to heights of 1.5m in this Tangoio home. Photo/Supplied.
Floodwaters rose rapidly to heights of 1.5m in this Tangoio home. Photo/Supplied.

Roads have also reopened, with both state highways 5 and 2, and several local roads were closed at the height of the incident yesterday.

Locally Glengarry Rd remains closed, expected to be open by lunchtime. Makahu Rd in Puketitiri is closed at the ford.

Hastings District Council incident controller Raoul Oosterkamp said it may take several weeks for road teams to clear all slips and debris, and to reinstate roads where there had been washouts.

All road users are being advised to take extra as there remains debris on a lot of roads and the risk of surface flooding remains.

In the meantime both Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group and Hastings District Council's incident teams are planning for the arrival of Cyclone Hola, expected to impact New Zealand early next week.

"While the exact track of the cyclone is unknown at this stage, we do want to be ready in the event that it arrives in Hawke's Bay. With our already sodden soils, there is a risk that the impact could be major if it does make landfall in our area," said Mr Oosterkamp.

People were advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case parts of this Watch are upgraded to a full Warning or new areas are added.

Tomorrow was expected to be mostly cloudy with a few showers, clearing in the evening. There would be morning cloud on Sunday, then fine weather.

-Hawke's Bay residents who have concerns about their home or who need welfare assistance can call Council (24 hour phone 871 5000).