As floodwaters rose around them, two people were rescued from the second floor of a Napier property by jet boat - launched from a nearby orchard.

This morning Callum Goodall and his father-in-law Grahame Strong had been moving belongings, and stock from Mr Strong's rapidly flooding Tangoio property when they got the call to evacuate.

Water began pouring into the area after the nearby Pakuratahi stream burst its banks about 8am, Mr Goodall said. By 9am, it had flooded into the property and was about chest height.

"It was real swift around the house, it was like a river," he said. "It was just sweeping us off our feet, you couldn't walk in it.


The area flooded so quickly that as they moved stock, "it was like a constant tide coming over the paddock. The cows were just floating, they were just swimming over the fence".

As water flooded into the two-storey house, it began sucking small items and pieces of furniture out through the doors.

"There's one bedroom downstairs, we were trying to get the stuff as high we could, but it just came up that fast you couldn't do anything at all. It was at window level...that's about 1.5m."

The bottom story of Grahame Strong's Tangoio home was flooded up to window level in today's deluge. PHOTO/SUPPLIED.
The bottom story of Grahame Strong's Tangoio home was flooded up to window level in today's deluge. PHOTO/SUPPLIED.

They were told to evacuate mid-morning. A helicopter was offered to pick them up from the property, but Mr Goodall said he thought the resources would be better used elsewhere.

Instead, he decided to call his friend Shane Huxtable to see if he could pick them up in his jet boat.

"When he rang me up, I thought he was full of it," Mr Huxtable said. Despite initially thinking it was a joke, he quickly left work at Huxtable motors in Taradale, picked up his trailer boat from Bay View before heading up toward the valley.

"We couldn't even get up the road [where they were] because there was a slip, so I launched the boat off the main road just in the orchard.

"We went out through the orchard and up to their place. We picked them up in the boat off the top story."

After roads reopened this afternoon the group returned to Mr Strong's home to start cleaning up the "horrendous mess" left behind.

Mr Goodall said his father-in-law was doing ok. Although the water levels had dropped, the house would be without power as the switchboard had been underwater.

"You can't do too much about it. We got all the photos off the walls and that kind of thing, we've done as much as we could.

He said they were very grateful to Mr Huxtable for "dropping everything" to come help - he arrived as the water neared the second floor of the house.

Mr Huxtable said: "it didn't worry me at all, when a mate rings you up, you go and do it. It takes a bit of the boredom out of the day."