Residents in Ohope are among those who have evacuated their homes in preparation for what Cyclone Cook has to bring.
Earlier today, locals told the Herald authorities knocked on their doors to let them know they had to get out - now.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said getting out was the best thing to do in these conditions.
"We were pre-warned that it was coming, so it's best to get out and play it on the safe side and come back later.
"We just have to take it as it happens," he said.
"You can't predict mother nature and you've just got to go with the flow.''
Ron and Tanya Forbes packed their belongings into a van after police told them to evacuate.
They said authorities told them there was a possibility of 10m swells at Ohope Beach.
"It's hard to believe it's actually going to happen,'' Ron Forbes said.
"I've never seen the beach go 10m before."
Another local, Lyndsay McCloy said she had been keeping a close eye on alerts this time around, after missing an evacuation alert during a large earthquake in the region last year.
"I'm just going to do it this time - I think it's safest, really.''
She said friends and family had urged her to evacuate the region, but she did not want to drive in the bad weather, so would be hunkering down instead.