Weather: About 5000 damaged homes across Auckland to be assessed for damage as locals face massive clean up

Already 19 properties in Auckland have been red-stickered due to the heavy rain and flooding, meaning they're not safe to stay in.

But that number is set to soar, with around 5000 damaged homes across 25 suburbs to be assessed.

In just one hour, Lloyd Budd's house went from river to silt-ridden riverbed.

"At 7pm, when we finished watching Newshub, it was just a trickle, and then at 8pm it was a metre underwater, the entire property," the Epsom, Auckland, resident said.

After a few hours of chaos, he's now facing weeks of clean-up.

"We've got to figure out what we're going to do. We've got to talk to the insurers and then make a plan from there," he said.

They're not alone. Out west, even those who are insured realise there's a long, tough road ahead.

"Realistically it's going to probably be months because there are so many other houses that are damaged, everyone's just going to be inundated," said Henderson resident Claire Stark.

Nearby, the front wall of Emily Stewart's property has been partially ripped away by the force of the chest-high torrent.

"I can't swim, so for me it was like, 'This is how I die'," she said.

"We don't know the damage and at the moment our goal is to get this into a position where we can live in it without it smelling and more damage being incurred and just waiting until people who know tell us what the damage is."

Very few in that corner of Auckland escaped the water. Their houses are decimated and the insurers are saying this is simply on another level.

"This is going to be a significant event for Auckland and New Zealand," said Suncorp New Zealand CEO Jimmy Higgins. "I haven't got a number yet but we are seeing a lot of calls coming through the call centre. We're seeing a lot of commercial property damage."

The water may have gone quickly, but the fallout is here to stay.

"There will be a pressure point. We ask people to be patient while we line up trades, supply chain. But it will take months for this community to recover," Higgins said.

In Browns Bay, Tony Stent's engineering business has been through the insurance drill before.

"Our last insurance claim, for the last little flood we had, was only finalised on Tuesday this week, as in closed off. And here we are back again," he said.

Auckland Emergency Management said 25 suburbs across Auckland have been impacted by the storm. They've seen similar flooding in west Auckland before, but nothing this widespread.

"What we've got here is an event of similar nature, but much more geographically widespread, but I would say for an event of this nature it's arguably one of the biggest we've had," said Rachel Kelleher, Auckland Emergency Management deputy controller.

Aucklanders who endured the floods are now facing a bureaucratic nightmare.