In Whanganui East, waterlogged cars have been towed out of garages and a few locals have had a first glimpse inside their wrecked homes.
Civil Defence let people with medical conditions or other exceptional circumstances into their homes behind the emergency cordon today.
Charlotte Poffenroth found a mess in the house she shares with her grandmother Loretta.
"We've just got mud the whole way through the house. Up past bed height - so that means all of our beds are going to have to be replaced.
"There's a good inch or two of mud through the carpet, I expected it to be ankle-deep mud. So I mean I suppose that's a bonus.
"Just to go and see what we could possibly salvage. We know beds and lounge suites and stuff like that are never going to, you can't fix them up.
"But just to know little things - you know, plates and pots and stuff like that that aren't broken."
Joy Bassett, 80, found the towels she'd put down to stop the water seeping into her home near Anzac Parade had not worked.
But some of her furniture was relatively unscathed.
"It was full of antique stuff, my neighbours picked it up because the police wouldn't let me stay to pack it out. And they picked it up and carried it up over here and broke a few things but excellent."
Tow truck driver Rowan Massey was pulling Joy Bassett 's Holden Astra out of her garage.
It was just one in a series of waterlogged cars he has been dealing with, many a complete write off.
"Nothing like this. Never seen anything like it before.
"We've had a full week. At this stage we've probably got 30 cars flood damaged. Some of them have seen lots of water, like this one, and some of them have seen bugger all water but insurance companies are doing what they got to do."
Relief on its way to isolated areas
The focus of flood relief in Whanganui today was on getting essential supplies to isolated rural people.
About 200 people remain cut off in isolated areas.
Civil Defence controller Kevin Ross said as well as helicopter drop-offs, the Red Cross and Rural Fire officers had been visiting people with limited road access to check on their welfare.
Mr Ross said the Red Cross was co-ordinating with GPs and the Whanganui District Health Board to assess and respond to medical needs of remote communities.
He said individuals who required evacuation - such as expectant mothers or people with long-term health conditions - will be evacuated on a case by case basis.
Meanwhile, the Whangarei District Council has voted to donate $7500 to the Whanganui mayoral relief fund for flood victims.
Whangarei received $12,000 from Whanganui after the Northland floods of 2007 - $5000 from the council and $7000 from community fundraising.
Whangarei mayor Sheryl Mai was urging her citizens to top up her council's offering and return the generosity shown by Whanganui people.
She said Northland people know all about floods and the suffering they could cause, and it was a terrible time for Whanganui families who had lost everything.