Gisborne District Council civil defence is keeping a close eye on the Tolaga Bay area tonight In case rain intensifies, which could cause problems.

Three families who live in the Mangatuna area, just north of Tolaga have been told to prepare to evacuate if there is more heavy rain.

Civil defence emergency manager Richard Steele said the situation was being monitored carefully.

"There is a bit more surface flooding around the flats and people should only be travelling tonight if they really have to."