Nightmare morning for Gisborne after heavy flooding

It's a waiting game for Civil Defence in Gisborne, who are trying to work out how to tackle storm damage as heavy rain persists on Tuesday.

A wet weekend has left streets flooded, rivers packed with fallen logs, and some homes in Tolaga Bay destroyed.

But the downpours are showing no signs of letting up, with heavy rain expected to pelt the region until this afternoon.

A weather watch was in place for Tolaga Bay overnight, as rainfall amounts could approach warning criteria. Any further rain could cause devastation as the ground is soaked.

Tairawhiti Civil Defence emergency manager Louise Bennett says they'll have a better idea about overnight damage when the sun rises.

"We're not really in the recovery mode, we're still in the response mode and the monitoring," she told Newshub.

"We'll be happier once daylight comes and we see what that brings and in the next few hours we'll be able to focus on the recovery side."

One family were forced to make a desperate escape through a hole in their ceiling to wait for a rescue helicopter as their home filled with water.

Ms Bennett says their neighbours could be in a similar state.

"We're not too sure about the others because they self-evacuated and went to stay with family," she says.

"Some of them did just to get out of the area because they knew that their roads would close, others did because they had some flooding in their houses."

Ms Bennett says the rain will not stop their efforts to help people.


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