Video has emerged showing the frantic few minutes between a Edgecumbe mum of two noticing water rapidly rising around her home, and being scooped up by emergency services.
Tamara Herdman was enjoying her morning at home in Edgecumbe with her two young daughters - minutes later, she was asking the Fire Service through tears to save them from rapidly rising floodwaters.
The mother of two described to 1 NEWS just how quickly the waters rose yesterday between 8.30am and 9am after the stop bank on College Road gave way to the swollen Rangitaiki River.
"I turned on Breakfast and it was saying Edgecumbe is being evacuated and I started chucking things in a bucket," Ms Herdman said.
"I looked outside and my lawn was pretty clear - there were a couple of puddles and nothing much else ... about a minute later and I saw the water going behind my fence and I thought I'd have a while - but I didn't."
Within about five minutes, the water had risen from a few puddles to half way up the stairs to her back door.
"There wasn't much time to pack or anything, I just grabbed a laundry basket full of clothes for the girls.
"I thought if it keeps going at this rate, we're going to have to start climbing ... I was talking to the fire department crying, saying 'what am I going to do?' And thinking about putting the newborn on the roof and how horrible that would be."
Ms Herdman bundled her two daughters, one 10 days and the other two-years-old, into the rescue truck.
"By the time I left, the water was on the patio," she said. "I'm not sure how the house is looking ... I'd say it's inside but I don't know."
Video footage taken by Ms Herdman shows firefighters linking arms to fight the fast-moving waters as they checked on residents and helped them to safety.
A pair of men on a jetboat can also be seen with a dog moving between homes.
The truck made it through the waters safely, and Ms Herdman's partner was waiting at the edge of the waters - all are now safely at a motel in Whangarei and are thankful that things didn't end up worse.
"We're one of the lucky ones - we're insured," she said.