With water dripping through light sockets, damp patches on the walls, carpets oozing water and electric engines in the model railway soaked, it was a case of deja vu for Dannevirke's Fantasy Cave yesterday after heavy rain fell in the town.

For volunteers it was the second time in six months the town's tourist attraction had been flooded by torrential rain.

From 8pm Wednesday to noon yesterday 105mm of rain fell, flooding streets, causing rivers to become swirling torrents and flooding buildings in Dannevirke.

The Fantasy Cave building, which also houses NZCU Baywide and the Stronghold Grappling Academy on the top floor, was one of the worst affected.


A similar experience hit the Fantasy Cave between Christmas and New Year causing major damage to the exhibits and closing the tourist attraction for several weeks.

The landlord when approached said it was a "one in 100 years event" and no work was carried out on the building.

Six months on that "one in a 100 years event" has recurred and the Fantasy Cave has again experienced damage on all floors although it was not thought to be as bad as the earlier flooding.

Dannevirke Fire Brigade attended and by 11am had cleared the upper guttering of leaves, reducing the flow of water which had punched holes in the upper floor ceiling.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu class arriving at 6.30am yesterday discovered the flood and soon had the initial mess cleaned up but the rain continued.

It was all hands on deck for Fantasy Cave volunteers armed with mops, buckets and towels. Now comes the drying of carpets and repairing the exhibits.

Cave volunteers said they were insured but that process would take time.

NZCU Baywide was not affected.