Drone footage shows devastating impact of Napier floods

Torrential rain in Napier has caused severe flooding, the likes of which have not been seen in the region for decades.

The floods have closed schools, left hundreds without power, and forced dozens out of their homes as waters rose and hillsides fell away.

Drone footage from Newshub shows the city inundated with water - its roads turned to rivers and homes threatened by the rising floods.

A local State of Emergency was declared by Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise on Monday after the Hawke's Bay city and surrounding suburbs were battered by heavy rain causing floods and landslides. 

In the footage, residents can be seen running and kayaking through the flood water- which Civil Defence has repeatedly pleaded with them not to do.

There is concern the water could be contaminated, as the heavy rain has overwhelmed the wastewater system.

"Floodwaters can carry bugs that cause disease from the ground surface and sewerage systems. Keep children away from floodwaters and playing in puddles," Hawkes Bay Civil Defence posted on Facebook.

It also warned strongly against eating anything that had come into contact with the waters - including homegrown fruit and vegetables. 

All Napier residents are urged to limit their contact with the water where possible.

A freephone number - 0800 422 923 - has been set up for anyone in Napier needing food or clothing because they have been displaced by the flooding. Anyone who can't stay at their home or with others can self-evacuate to a centre at Kennedy Park.