A flash flood in Levin during peak hour traffic trapped a person in their car, flooded houses and streets, and washed out a rest home cafeteria.
The downpour moved north through Horowhenua about 5pm, reaching Palmerston North at 6pm.
Fire central communications shift manager Mike Wanoa said brigades were still in the area sandbagging and pumping water out of houses.
Brigades attended incidents at the Horowhenua Masonic Village, Highbury Drive, Fairfield Rd and Argyle St.
"Just before 5pm there was a car trapped in flood water with a person inside, the water was nearly up to the windscreen," he said. "We treated it as a risky situation. By the time we got there the person was out of the car."
Wanoa said pumps were being used at the Masonic Village to keep water out of the dining and cafeteria area.
Police central communications acting shift inspector Chris Tate said police responded to a person stuck in their car in Levin about 5pm.
He said the flash flood was due to a heavy build up of water following a downpour in the area.
- Manawatu Standard