Severe gale force winds caused havoc throughout the region yesterday, bringing down trees and disrupting flights in and out of Blenheim.
Ferry sailings were also cancelled as the winds belted through Cook Strait.
Worst hit was Kaikoura, where the roof was blown off a house just north of the coastal town.
At Mangamaunu, also north of Kaikoura, a garden shed and sleepout were flattened by a falling macrocarpa tree.
Owner Liz McKenzie said she saw what looked like a mini tornado approaching from the north. It toppled all the heavy pots on her patio before taking out the tree.
She said she had been unable to get into the sleepout to assess the damage but she feared the worst.
Kaikoura fire chief Ian Walker said: "We were thankfully able to prevent any damage to the house on the property by cutting back several branches."
Power lines had also come down in Postman's Rd, he said.
Gusts of 154kmh were recorded at the top of the Wither Hills, south of Blenheim.
Fallen trees also created problems for motorists.
On State Highway 6 at Okaramio, between Long Valley Rd and Kenningtons Rd, traffic was reduced to one lane just after 10am while emergency services worked to clear a fallen macrocarpa.
On the opposite side of the district, SH1 was closed south of Ward for about an hour when trees fell on the highway.
The road reopened about 4pm.
Vicky Carson, of the Awatere Community Information Office, said no injuries had been reported but there had been a lot of flying debris.
"The wind was really strong here and there was a lot of debris blowing around and there has been some damage to the underpass walkway.
"Some campers have also wisely decided to rather wait it out here than to travel."
Climatologist Stu Powell has a network of weather stations around the region and recorded gusts of 120kmh in Ward and 112kmh in Seddon.
"Extreme wind like this is not common for the region and only happens maybe once a year for Seddon and maybe twice for Rapaura.
"The Waihopai is usually pretty sheltered from the northwest winds, but they even reached 85kmh," he said.
- The Marlborough Express