Whanganui NZ has experienced its biggest recorded flood, with at least 200 people forced from their homes by rising waters.
A civil defense emergency was called before the flood waters rose overnight on Saturday and the Whanganui River breach the stop banks along Anzac Parade.
The Whanganui District Council said on Sunday morning, via its Facebook page, the river appeared to have stabilized and no further flooding was expected.
“The Whanganui district is experiencing the largest flood ever recorded in our district.”
It says it may take all of Sunday for the roads to clear.
Some people won’t be able to return to their homes until Tuesday because sewage has contaminated the properties and they will need to be limed. Power cuts meant local FM stations could not broadcast.
State Highway 3 was closed by flooding at a number of places between Whanganui and Bulls and at Uruti in north Taranaki on Sunday morning. Contractors had been able to fix a washed out bridge at Manakau on SH1, between Levin and Otaki, but the road was closed by flooding between Bulls and Hunterville.
Whanganui was just one area of focus as surface flooding, slips, rising rivers, sewage overflows and power outages caused problems across the lower North Island on Saturday.
The storm that dumped rain and snow on the South Island on Thursday night and Friday is now causing problems a number of districts.