Residents of the Hawke's Bay settlement of Eskdale say yesterday's historic 50-year flood of the Esk River left many homeless, including families living at the caravan park there.
The Esk River began rising about 3am, Hawke's Bay Regional Council sampling shows, and by just after 9am it had risen about seven metres - a one-in-50-year event.
Jo and Owen Bell said the damage was severe, with many people at the Eskdale Caravan Park losing everything.
"They've just lost all their belongings," Jo said.
"We've never experienced anything like this."
Owen agreed, saying the damage is "pretty bad" and that people's belongings are strewn throughout the park in the nearby orchard.
"They've lost everything," he said.
However, Owen said the residents were "pretty resilient" and that the plan was to "get back on the horse again and keep going".
The flood took place nearly 30 years to the day that Cyclone Bola caused similar flooding on March 7, 1988.