4 Feb 2018

Piha deluge: 'as quick as it comes it goes'

8:54 am on 4 February 2018

A Piha resident says he wasn't entirely surprised by the flash flooding caused by yesterday's torrential downpour.

Flooded Piha camping ground

The flooded Piha camping ground Photo: Facebook / Piha Domain camping ground

Some homes in the west Auckland beach settlement were evacuated and some campers were forced to pack up their tents when the stream rose quickly yesterday afternoon.

Two bodies have been found in a stream in the Waitakere Ranges near where three people were swept away by water during the deluge yesterday.

Nigel Scott said he had not seen rain or flooding like it for about five years, but it was not unexpected.

"The rain was torrential but it was only for ... 20-odd minutes but it was very heavy," Mr Scott said.

"The catchment area can't keep up with it so its got to go somewhere so it roars down through the valley, down through the stream and out to the sea.

"But as quick as it comes it goes as well."

Mr Scott said the waters receded quickly once the rain stopped.

He said he had spoken to some campers on Friday who were looking forward to a good weekend at Piha.

"It all turned to rubbish this afternoon for them."

Jacqueline Hickey said she was sitting on the deck at her friend's bach when the rain came down.

"It was big old fat rain, it came down so hard and fast," she said.

They saw one of the surf club's quad bikes get submerged in the quickly rising stream.

"It was like a raging river."

However, after the rain stopped the water level dropped significantly, and Ms Hickey estimated the stream had decreased about 2m in the space of an hour.

Another local, Kurt Buckingham, said this sort of thing happened all the time.

"As soon the rain hits the Waitakere Ranges, it all floods out, it's got to go somewhere," he said.

Mr Buckingham said he had never seen the Wekatahi Stream so full, but added, "it's just another day in Piha".

Piha campers: "Everything was flooded

Flooded Piha camping ground

Some campers had to quickly move their tents at Piha Domain Campground after the deluge hit. Photo: Facebook / Piha Domain camping ground

West Aucklanders Lynette and Edward were at the Piha Domain Campground when the deluge hit.

"Everything was flooded here," Lynette said.

"We looked over there [towards the stream] and all the brown water was bobbling around and it was all coming through here."

Edward said another camper near them had to move his tent because his site got completely flooded.

While many campers were hiding away in their tents when the rain came, Lynette said many of the kids there were outside sliding up and down in the water.

Edward said they weren't planning on going home.

"We're toughing it out."