Napier and Hastings were reporting surface flooding across the two cities, but the rain was starting to subside by 3pm and the thunderstorm warning was lifted by MetService at 3.15pm.
Lightning also lit up the two cities with a tree that caught on fire in Windsor Ave in Hastings believed to have been hit by the electrical storm.
The storm came at the same time as school pick-ups and rattled residents rushed to pick up their children, or get to ground they felt was safer, causing large traffic jams.
The MetService weather radar detected severe thunderstorms moving east near Sherenden at 2.07pm on Friday.
“These severe thunderstorms are moving towards the east, and are expected to lie near Napier, Hastings, Fernhill and Haumoana at 2.37 pm and near offshore Hawke’s Bay and Cape Kidnappers at 3.07pm.”
“These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by very heavy rain.”
Torrential rain could seen, and loud thunderclaps heard, around Hastings before 2.30pm. Hawke’s Bay Today reporter Doug Laing said the thunder had been amazing from Napier.
“It’s sounding like a paint shop exploding in a fire.”
Lighthouse Rd resident Mario Schmidt said some people on the Bluff Hill, Napier, street had to fight to prevent water from entering their homes.
“Ten minutes later the water receded again – all this happened within only 15 minutes, just as well the rain stopped again.
“This drains are no longer adequate for these sort of weather events. These are changing times.
“This job was supposed to be done by now but obviously the cyclone changed priorities for council, who can blame them.”
MetService said the very heavy rain could cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous.
At 2.15pm it detected severe thunderstorms near Rissington, Sherenden, Napier, Hastings, Fernhill, Bridge Pa and Maraekakaho.
“These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by very heavy rain and damaging wind gusts.
“Very heavy rain can cause surface and/or flash flooding about streams, gullies and urban areas, and make driving conditions extremely hazardous.
“Very strong wind gusts can break branches from trees, damage roofing, and make driving hazardous especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.
The National Emergency Management Agency advises that as storms approach you should:
– Take shelter, preferably indoors away from windows;
– Avoid sheltering under trees, if outside;
– Get back to land, if outdoors on the water;
– Move cars under cover or away from trees;
– Secure any loose objects around your property;
– Check that drains and gutters are clear;
– Be ready to slow down or stop, if driving. During and after the storm, you should also:
– Beware of fallen trees and power lines;
– Avoid streams and drains as you may be swept away in flash flooding.