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Civil Defence assessing damage in Tokomaru Bay after flooding

Civil Defence crews are on the ground in Tokomaru Bay today assessing the damage caused by a deluge over the weekend as more rain is expected to fall.

Gisborne District Mayor Rehette Stoltz told 1 NEWS she will receive a clearer idea of the situation following a community meeting at 12pm today. 

Stoltz says several low-lying streets have been badly affected by the deluge which hit the East Cape over the weekend.

She says yesterday’s rain was close to the levels experienced in Cyclone Bola in 1988 with surface flooding across the region.

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Clean-up begins after flash floods in East Cape; more rain expected around NZ

The region's roads will take some time to clean up with State Highway 35 at Turihau Point, 25km north of Gisborne, down to one lane due to ocean inundation.

The state highway is open in and out of Tokomaru Bay. However, a slip north of Hicks Bay is blocking the entire road and contractors believe it could take one or two days to clear.

Debris strewn on a beach in Tokomaru Bay. Source: Murray Cave

It comes as more rain is expected to inundate the region today.

A heavy rain warning has also been put in place for part of Gisborne and Wairoa District's hills into tomorrow. 

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A large dumping of rain has left much of the area covered in water. Source: Supplied

Heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous, according to MetService.

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Former Te Karere reporter Irena Smith told 1 NEWS she's never seen the local river this flooded before. Source: Supplied

A further 40 to 60mm of rainfall is expected, with peak intensities reaching around 10mm an hour. 

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Locals evacuated as Tokomaru Bay hit by flash floods

MetService told 1 NEWS Waikura Station on the East Cape experienced 220ml of rain in the 48 hours from midnight Saturday.

Bands of rain soaked the ground before a deluge of 49.5mm of rain fell between 8am and 9am on Sunday morning.

Other areas experienced close to 30mm of rain in the same time period, leading to created surface flooding on already soaked ground.