Weather: Northern Explorer train services cancelled, campground evacuated as Cyclone Hale leaves its mark

Cyclone Hale has left its mark across much of the central North Island as it tracked further south on Wednesday. 

The Rangitikei River was in full flood as local streams turned into waterfalls. It was too much rain for the main trunk line, which was scoured out by the deluge. 

Digger driver Kerry Robb told Newshub "it came down very quickly".

"In about 15 minutes it caused all this damage."

KiwiRail said all services using the track have been cancelled, including the Northern Explorer. 

Flooding also shut State Highway 1 between Hunterville and Mangaweka overnight. The road re-opened on Thursday with contractors busy scooping logs and debris from the clogged culverts. 

"A lot of trees come down from up the back, so now we are in here trying to clear it all up and get the culverts open," Robb said. 

Although the traffic jam actually helped local businesses like Richard Aslett from Magaweka Gallery. 

"I managed to get a few customers in, which was quite good, and sell a few things, but not good for the people stuck in the cars."

Further south, the Pohangina River is still full to the brim. The nearby campground was evacuated and some roads are still closed, leaving farmers busy mending fences.

"I'll re-strain it all back up after the flood has come through and wiped it all away," one farmer told Newshub.  

The Wairarapa took a hammering too. The Kaiwhata River east of Masterton had 130 millimetres of rain over 24 hours. 

SH53 into Martinborough went underwater, and the stream at Riversdale Beach burst its banks, gouging out the surf club's access to the ocean.  

"If we do get to a situation with a rescue, or need access directly to the beach, we can't do it at the moment," Dave Rose from Riversdale Surf Club said. 

But surfers made the most of the situation, leaping into the flooded river for a quick ride before lifeguards told them to stop.

"It just wasn't that safe so we coned it off," Rose told Newshub. 

Even though Cyclone Hale has passed, more damage is expected. 

"We can still expect to see slips and the occasional tree coming down over the next few days, so it's really important people drive to the conditions," Waka Kotahi NZTA's Liam Ryan said. 

And it's important to check Waka Kotahi's website for closures before hitting the road.