Kawerau flooded by heavy deluge overnight

Floodwaters are beginning to clear in some parts of Kawerau, but the soggy nightmare is far from over for the Bay of Plenty town.

Rain is still pelting down in the area as council staff and emergency services clear drainage systems and roads.

Kawerau mayor Malcolm Campbell says a long-term plan is being established to assist affected residents.

"It's really pouring down so we'll monitor it and then we'll let our engineering staff look at what we can do about it. Mainly it's the runoff from the runoff around the area."

One Kawerau resident whose home is waist deep in water says the council has failed to protect the community despite years of lobbying.

Paulette O'Brien says flooding has long been an issue in the area and she's fed up with council's inactivity.

"I'm actually at a loss right now. A little bit sad and I'm just sitting in my house sulking because I don't know what to do," she says.

"It's still all flooded down there as well so we can't actually do anything. That's happened time and time again."

Roads turned to rivers in Kawerau following massive downpours overnight. At least 10 homes and business were flooded.

Council staff hurriedly tried to unblock drains on Saturday morning.

Z petrol station worker Ange says she was lucky to make it to work today.

"I couldn't see the water on the road until I actually hit it. Freaked me out, because my car was going to cut out, so I gave it heaps of gas and got myself out of there."

Torrential rain has been hammering the town since Friday night.

Mr Campbell is urging residents to contact council if they need help.

"This is unprecedented for Kawerau - we don't have rain like this. Soon as it stops raining it'll be all gone within half an hour but it hasn't stopped raining since 4 o'clock this morning. It's more of a flash-flood than anything," he says.

Mr Campbell is warning people to stay away from the Tarawera River.

Chris Wilson posted a photo of the flooding on Facebook, showing water reaching over the wheels of cars driving on Onslow St on Saturday morning.

Wet weather hampered other events around the North Island on Friday. Wings over Wairarapa has been cancelled, and the Splore music festival near Auckland had a muddy start. There was also a delay to the start of the T20 cricket at Eden Park.

Meanwhile firefighters in Christchurch's Port Hills are hoping for heavy rain after days of fires. 


Contact Newshub with your story tips: