The scale of the devastation in Edgecumbe is difficult to comprehend.
As story upon story came through yesterday - along with photos from on the ground and in the air - it became clear this was a disaster of the most serious magnitude.
Prime Minister Bill English, who was taken beyond the cordons into the town, described it as on a par with the Kaikoura earthquake.
It is going to be a long road to recovery for the town.
It will also be a stressful wait this weekend for residents before they can return home and see for themselves the extent of the damage to their homes.
Some will have no idea what to expect.
Locals have told terrifying stories of seeing a wall of water coming towards them, of rushing back to collect pets and jumping in cars to flee.
That nobody was killed or injured is a miracle. It could have been so much worse, though that will be no consolation for residents right now.
Questions are starting to be asked about how such catastrophic flooding was able to happen and Mr English has said there must be an investigation.
Those questions are already being looked into and lessons will hopefully be learned for the future.
Along with the anxiety, terror and the "what ifs" - what shines through in many of the stories we report today is the tenacity of the human spirit.
As local John Kearns tells us today: "Edgecumbe will come together once we have to start putting our gumboots on [and pick up] the shovels."
He even found time to laugh about the entire town shopping at Kmart in Whakatane on Thursday night, presumably after fleeing their homes with just the clothes on their backs.
They're a tough lot but they won't be short of help when it comes time to rebuild.
Already people from throughout the Bay of Plenty and around New Zealand have pitched in to help, eager to offer money, possessions, clothes.
A Kawerau marae has become one of the main evacuation centres, with locals donating whatever they can to help.
Motels in Whakatane are offering discounted rates and over the coming days a mayoral fund set up to help those in the town will no doubt be well-supported.
To the Edgecumbe evacuees as you prepare to reclaim your town - our thoughts, prayers and support are with you.