One person hospitalised, five homes evacuated after huge waves thrash coastal Wellington homes - 'I had to run'

Wellington residents have described a wave "the biggest they've ever seen" that "sent them running" this morning and left dozens of coastal homes damaged and one person in hospital.

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Sam O'Connor says residents in Owhiro Bay hadn't taken stock of what has happened yet. Source: 1 NEWS

The large wave along with others has battered homes in Ōwhiro Bay this morning, leaving many garages flooded and their contents now spewed out all over the road and bay.

Resident Sam O'Connor was present when the wave hit, telling 1 NEWS it was the biggest he's ever seen.

"A massive wave come in and wiped out the property in front of us," he said.

"I was sitting at my desk and I looked to my right and all of a sudden this wave sweeps in and picks up a van and takes it right into a property so you can imagine the damage.

"We're just trying to assemble ourselves and take stock of the situation."

Fellow local Keryn Squires told 1 NEWS she was going for a walk at 9:30 this morning when the wave struck.

"Suddenly this huge wave come up," Ms Squires said.

"I had to run, everything in sight got washed down the road. I looked back and an electrical box - the ones that are on the side of the road - one of them exploded and part of it went flying in the air and hit the roof of a house."

Ms Squires said waves have continued to bash into garage doors and caused flooding near her home.

Owhiro Bay after a massive wave damaged the road and coastal homes. Source: Supplied / Keryn Squires

"Further round the bay, it's even worse. They've had garages washed out to sea. There's all sorts of things bobbing around in the ocean.

"I thought I could see a wardrobe. There's also lots of big plastic tubs and those buoys that everyone has. It's a big mess. There's lots to clean up."

Police confirmed emergency services are responding to the high swells and flooding all along the south coast of Wellington with a particular focus from Ōwhiro Bay through to Island Bay.

"Road closures are in place and five properties have been evacuated. Those residents are receiving support," police said in a statement.

One person has been taken to hospital following the flooding, leaving police urging the public to stay away from the area even if they're local.

"Police would like to remind the public to stay home. Avoid the area of the foreshore - do not come down to take pictures or just to have a look.

"Alert Level 4 requirements still apply. If evacuation is required, Police will come to your property and speak with you.

"Emergency services have the situation in hand and do not require offers of accommodation for those currently evacuated.”

Ms Squires told 1 NEWS locals have been on the scene helping in any way they can while being mindful of the current Level 4 Covid-19 status the country is in.

"We keep going, 'dont burst your bubble', while grabbing brooms, towels and sandbags."

MetService says swells have been 3.5 metres high on South Coast but they will peak early this afternoon to six metres - a figure they added was "very high and unusual for South Coast".

They added the swells are being generated by a low pressure south east of New Zealand off Chatham Islands and warned the Chatham Islands could get seven metre swells later today.

You can check out the latest weather forecast here.