A Katikati family had to wade through rising floodwaters to self-evacuate after heavy rain this afternoon.

Wharawhara Rd resident Phil Parker said he had come down the road to check on the state of the nearby bridge about 4.30pm.

"The rain was absolutely pelting down and tree branches were coming down and the debris was hitting the side of the bridge, and there was a lot of water crossing the road."

Parker said he saw a family of four, a mum and dad and two primary school children, and their two visitors wading across their waterlogged section to safety.

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"After the couple's fridge and trailer floated down the river, the family decided they better get out."

Parker said the couple was accompanied by two German backpackers who work at the Seeka packhouse.

The backpackers were staying with him and the family whose home had some water come through it were staying with neighbours.

Because it was so dark, Parker was unsure of the extent of the damage.