Several shops and at least one supermarket have been closed due to flooding in central New Plymouth after a freak hail storm late this afternoon.
A Fire Service spokesperson said it had had 20 callouts as a result of the storm, which hit at about 4.15pm and lasted 20 minutes.
Heavy hail stones had blocked drains and caused flooding in parts, the spokesperson said.
PaknSave owner Peter Melody said there were many roofs blanketed with what looked like thick snow, including his store. It had also flooded and was closed.
"We're pretty fortunate. It's a concrete floor so we're really just hands on deck with cleaning it up, pushing it down drain holes and mops and buckets and things," Mr Melody said.
"In terms of stock damage, it's pretty minimal, really."
The clean-up was likely to take all night, he said.