A storm has brought a flash flood to the main street of Waimate.
The flooding occurred in the South Canterbury town after a sudden thunderstorm and heavy downpour of rain this afternoon.
A witness, Sarah McMullan, said the water quickly covered both sides of the road and seeped into business entrances.
"It was just an amazing downpour of rain.
"One moment it was still, and the next minute there was thunder and lightening and hail.
"And in less than 30 minutes there were all these shopkeepers standing out on the road waving madly."
Ms McMullan said business owners were nervous about whether the worst was over, or whether they needed to protect their properties with sandbags.
More heavy rain and southerly gales have been forecast for Kaikoura and Wellington.