Surface flooding has hit the area north of Napier hard. (Photo / Paul Taylor)
A Hawke's Bay Regional Council spokesman said the flood alarms were triggered this morning with levels around 670 m3/s and rising. He said orange alert level was exceeded, but not quite at red alert yet.
"Heavy rain continues in the catchment, so river levels may rise further. The rainfall has crossed over into the Tutaekuri catchment.
"Some properties have flooded around the Mangaone River on Puketitiri Road, so we're looking at the Tutaekuri River trigger levels for warnings."
Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Group Manager/Controller Ian Macdonald said more heavy downpours in isolated areas in rural Hawke's Bay are expected and residents, particularly in the Esk Valley area, are being asked to prepare for evacuation in case that becomes necessary.
If people have safety concern they need to ring 111. For the most up-to-date information they should follow the HB Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Facebook page.
This morning a severe weather warning was issued by Metservice for the region as a complex low pressure system over the North Island moves to the east on Friday.
There is also a heavy rain warning, with concern streams and rivers are rising rapidly.
Surface flooding and slips are also possible and driving conditions may be hazardous.
Metservice has issued a thunderstorm warning. (Photo / supplied)
Periods of heavy rain are expected until around midnight tonight. In addition to rain that has already fallen, expect another 70 to 90mm of rain to accumulate during this period, especially about the hills and ranges.