A Kaeo man was forced to swim to his house after flood waters rose rapidly this morning.

Gary Whitehead said he was meant to be going fishing, but canned the idea because of teh rough weather.

With no cellphone coverage, he left his Pupuke Rd home at 6am to meet his friend and fishing buddy to let him know the trip was off.

"I came back at 6.30am and the water was up to my shoulders."


He plunged into the flood waters to swim back to his house where his wife and three dogs were waiting.

Mr Whitehead and his wife have lived in the house for five years, and have experienced 16 floods.

"We've never had one this bad, it's the first one that's actually come in the house."

Mr Whitehead said his house is raised about 1.5m off the ground, but about 3cm of water covered the floor of their home.

His home was on sloping land and at the lowest point on the property the water was over three metres deep.

At 10.15am he said the water had receded and was about half a metre deep.

He rescued his two pigs who were trying to swim to escaped a flooded pig pen, while some ducks and chickens had been washed away or drowned.

The engine of his boat was completely underwater, and he believes his wife's car would be a write off due to flooding damage.

Mr Whitehead was worried about the next high tide.

"We've lifted everything we can in the house, we're just sitting here waiting."

He said he can't run water or flush the toilet because their water pump is underwater.