Torrential rain on the West Coast has intensified again, raising fears of more flooding in Greymouth and Hokitika tonight.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said Sawyers Creek was rising again after easing off during the afternoon, and was now at "an extremely high level".
"If we have to call another Civil Defence and Emergency Management meeting tonight, we will," he said.
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith said rain was "just absolutely hosing down" in Hokitika and water levels were not expected to peak until 4am.
"Nothing is flowing into shops or into houses that we know of. I have been told two houses have been flooded but I haven't seen them." he said.
Several streets remain closed in both towns and Kokshoorn said about 12 families have had to leave their homes in Greymouth and are staying with friends and relatives.
"The rain is starting to come down quite heavily again," he said.
"We are containing things at the moment. We were hoping the storm was going to go further south but it's looking like it is hitting Greymouth again.
"We got some respite. The water levels were dropping during the afternoon, but now they are starting to head up again."
Smith said the water in central Hokitika was "well over my gumboots" when he filmed it at about 3pm today.
"The town pumps have handled it quite well," he said.
"All of the Westland roads staff have been mobilised. There are additional pumps on their way. Hopefully we won't have to use them. If we do, hopefully they will contain whatever happens."