The East Coast of the North Island is being hammered by heavy rain and gale force winds, causing widespread disruption and leaving communities cut off. 

In the last 48 hours, hundreds of properties on the East Coast and Hawke's Bay have lost power and travel has been severely restricted with flights cancelled and roads closed.

Fifteen schools and six early childhood centres were also forced to close their doors yesterday.

The small settlement of Te Karaka between Matawai and Gisborne was one of the worst hit.

In the last 24 hours, the rising floodwaters of the Waipaoa River have made themselves known to people wh olive in close proximity to the river. 

Just after midday today, the power for the township of Te Karaka was restored, however, access in and out of the township has remained cut off on State Highway 2.

Local fire brigade Anthony Ruru was one of seven in his team checking up on the local resident's this morning.

He says that the residents are feeling the damage, but he's happy the rain has stopped.


"He nui te hari me te koa hoki i te mea kua aukati nei te marangai. He nui ana te wai e rongo tonu i te papa." 


Over the next two days, MetService has forecast heavy rain and severe gales for parts of northern and central New Zealand.