Dave Henderson stood in his Westport home contemplating what to do.
As alerts came out telling residents to evacuate the thought he'd be okay, that his house was on high enough ground and he could stay put.
And then, high tide came.
He knew he had to move - but was it too late?
"They gave us options to get out, but I held fast," he said.
"When it started seeping in the house i thought better of it, let's go.
"It was pretty wet. It was just coming up through the floor boards and every orifice."
Henderson was helped out of his house and to the evacuation centre in Westport by Civil Defence and police via their unimog vehicle.
He was pleased the district had one on hand and didn't want to think about his fate otherwise.
"We were up to our waists in water," he told the Herald.
"It was pretty good to get a lift down here, we couldn't walk it."
Henderson is a long time Westport resident and was shocked at the horrendous weather.
"I thought I'd seen it all, but nah... this is the worst I have ever seen," he said.
"I didn't think it would get that bad, thought my house was on a high enough plain to not be in the flood zone but unfortunately I'm not.
"Heck, I only bought the place last year. I should have thought about that before."
Henderson is one of many who are worried about what they will find when they return to their sodden homes.
When will the water recede?
How will they get things dry?
Will there be mould and if so, will their homes be liveable?
John Lewis was also at the evacuation centre and told the Herald his home was "not the best" when he was forced to leave.
"Our house has been flooded. There was water all underneath, it's just come in the back… in the door, it's just horrible," he said.
"It's a mess."
He had "no idea" what he was going to do next.
"I haven't a clue. We're not allowed to leave here yet.
"I've got to go away and buy some gumboots because someone stole my gumboots yesterday.".