Raging flood waters have ripped apart a driveway leaving those living in the area only able to get out if they clamber down a steep bank.
The flood waters burst through the private driveway off Paradise Valley Rd about 2.15pm yesterday. The damage has cut off water to the residents, with one saying they are now "pissed off".
"It's a disaster," the woman, who didn't want to be named, said.
She said she had been out horse riding with her daughter, had driven back with the horse float hoping everything was going to be okay.
She said she had told the Bay of Plenty Regional Council about their issues with falling water from nearby hills.
Paradise Valley Rd remained closed to the public yesterday while contractors cleared debris and dealt with slips, the Rotorua Lakes Council said in a statement.
Residents, however, were able to access their properties from either end of the road, it said.
Paradise Valley Rd man Ray Freeman said he was "gutted" as he surveyed where the rain and stream had washed away the culvert and entrance to his property.
"I've never seen it this bad."
Having lived there for 30 years, he said the culvert would have been there for about 45 to 50 years.
He had been trying to get the issues brought to the attention of the local council.
Upper Ngongotaha catchment committee spokesman Paradise Valley farmer Neil Heather said his group, which is made up of six local residents, had attended several meetings with the council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council at the end of last year passing on their concerns about the Ngongotaha catchment.
"We wanted to mitigate these problems with the upper water catchment."
He said the damage following the weekend was the biggest he could think of.
"I told the council if we don't do something [something] will happen - and this is exactly what happened."
On his own property Mr Heather said no animals were washed away but he'd had a major slip that took out fences and soil.
Relph Rd resident Merv Heard said he was able to get out of his road this morning using his 4WD.
Mr Heard spoke to the
Rotorua Daily Post
yesterday as residents were trapped when a large landslip blocked the only entrance to their road.
But today Mr Heard said all neighbours were able to go to work, and Fulton Hogan were on the job cleaning up.
"There's a lot of damage, a lot of water washed out across the road."
Mr Heard said the council and regional council were well aware of the problems with water run off on Relph Rd.
"There are plans in place for drainage but we still haven't seen a change."
Staff and visitor cars were "literally floating" in the carpark on Sunday at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, director Jo Sanders said.
"Luckily, the water didn't move into the shop. The Ngongotaha volunteer fire station brigade helped clean the silt and mud from our carpark till midnight on Sunday. They were awesome and we are grateful."
Even though the tourist attraction was open today, with several visitors, the cleaning up for the staff was ongoing.
Further up Paradise Valley Rd a slip had blocked the road and contractor diggers were removing the trees and debris.
Rotorua Lakes Council transport and waste solution director Stavros Michael said in a statement the council had previously met with residents and had provided interim advice.
"We're happy to meet with them again if they wish but we won't be trying to resolve this through the media. This is a private property issue that each resident needs to consider individually."
A regional council spokeswoman said the Paradise Valley area was within the Rotorua Lakes Council catchment.
Regional council integrated catchments general manager Chris Ingle said their focus was on water quality, and during an extreme weather event one of their concerns was erosion.
"We have met with residents in the upper Ngongotaha catchment area and have offered support with developing a community-led catchment management plan that will include a number of possible interventions to prevent further issues on their private properties."
Avoid areas of Kuirau Park
The Rotorua Lakes Council is urging residents and visitors to avoid areas of Kuirau Park where the ground is steaming.
Rainwater has soaked the ground near the Aquatic Centre bore and come into contact with underground pipes carrying thermally heated water.
The ground is very soft, and the water within it is boiling, so the affected areas have been fenced off to keep people from walking over it, the council said in a statement.
Fulton Hogan, Rotorua police, Rotorua Fire Service, Infracore (previously Rotorua Contracting) and Rotorua Lakes Council staff attended more than 30 rain-related calls during the weekend.
Metservice meteorologist Ravi Kandula said there wasn't a great deal of rainfall on Sunday night, with 3mm to 4mm recorded until 9am today.
Mr Kandula said the main rain stopped in Rotorua about 5pm yesterday.
Waikaukau Rd and Apirana Rd were closed overnight yesterday and reopened today about 9am.
Flooding was also reported on Hinemoa St, Scott Ave, Tawavale St, Ranolf St, Ford Rd, Riri St and Galvin Rd.