A man who became trapped in a flooded side-road beside a swollen Hawke's Bay river has been freed by emergency services.

Police and fire crews were called to the scene, near the Tukituki River by Red Bridge, Waimarama Rd, at 5.50pm.

A witness at the scene said a pair of 4x4 vehicles were driving on a track beside the river, when they became stuck in floodwater.

They were freed by 6.30pm.