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Low-lying Tancred St businesses, previously hard hit by flooding, moved quickly to sandbag their shop entrances.
The storeroom of The Kitchen cafe, on the corner of Tancred and Hamilton Sts, was flooded but water did not enter the cafe.
However, next door, at Gift NZ, floodwater ran through the door, damaging carpet.
Parts of Weld St were also inundated as the gutters and stormwater pipes were overwhelmed by the deluge.
The MetService recorded 42.8mm in Hokitika between 11am and noon.
The Hokitika Volunteer Fire Brigade was called to pump out and help the occupants of residential properties in Hampden and Tudor Sts.
"A couple of places had a bit of water go through their garages and sleepouts," Chief Fire Officer Harry Collett said.
At 1pm, contractors were still out checking damage and stormwater drains.
A Westland District Council spokesman said it was not just the town centre that had been affected.
Dorothy Falls at Lake Kaniere had "blown out" again and parts of the settlements of Woodstock and Rimu were also experiencing flooding.
The deep surface flooding in downtown Hokitika had largely receded by 1pm.