There has been some good news for a small number of people in Edgecumbe today.
In a press release, the Whakatane District Council said occupants of five homes in the flood-ravaged Eastern Bay of Plenty town are being told they can return home.
"The exclusion zone cordon has been adjusted to allow some residents of East Bank Rd back to their homes," the council says.
"Whakatane District Council staff have confirmed water has been reconnected to homes on East Bank Rd.
"This applies to a total of five residences. The residents will be notified as soon as possible."
The cordon would be further adjusted as soon as it was safe to do so.
Some 1600 Edgecumbe residents have been displaced since the Rangitaiki River burst its banks on Thursday, as the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie dumped heavy rain across much of the North Island and parts of the South Island.
Residents scrambled to safety as the river flowed through the town, flooding properties with water more than a metre deep in places.
The breach has been blocked and water is receding but the township remains largely cordoned off to ensure public safety while floodwaters are being managed, and because sewerage and water systems are not working.
Residents may be away from their homes for up to 10 days and some Taneatua residents have also been evacuated due to flooding, the council said in the release.
Anyone with concerns about animals, or who have any other concerns or questions, should call 0800 366 0500.
Those who want to help can support the town and wider Eastern Bay of Plenty can donate to the official mayoral fund Give a Little page.
Donations were at $7697 this afternoon.