Tree crashes through house, misses teen

06:17, Jun 11 2014
Auckland storm
Tree down over the road in Devonport, North Shore.
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A trimaran blown off its cradle in Devonport, North Shore.
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A tree down on a car on Great North Road, near Western Springs, Auckland.
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Damage at the Thirsty Dog pub in central Auckland.
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Blown out window at Stuff's Auckland office.
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A tree and power pole were taken down by the wind, blocking Firth St in Hamilton.
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Large tree down blocking Wendover Rd, Glendowie.
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Tree down at Kelston, Auckland.
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Tree down in Herne Bay.
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Car damaged by a falling branch, Princess St, Auckland.
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Civil Defence Staff cordon off Old Titirangi Road in West Auckland.
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Damage to Grant Solley's West Auckland property after a tree was brought down by the winds.
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These cars escaped serious damage from a blown down tree in Roland Hill Rd, West Auckland.
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The storm brought down this gum tree down across Boyd Rd, in Waikato.
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The storm took the roof off this Waihi Beach house.
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Laingholm, in West Auckland, was hit badly. The storm brought down trees across houses and fences.
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Damage in Orewa.
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Kris Fannin fixes up a tent at the Fieldays near Hamilton, which was blown down by strong winds over night.
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Cox's Bay Reserve in Auckland's Herne Bay.
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Trees down on Scenic Drive in Titirangi.
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"Found this outside our driveway this morning," says Campbell Grieve, who lives in Auckland's Avondale.
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Trees down at Westlake Girls High School on Auckland's North Shore.
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Storm damage at Omaha Beach.
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Damage to a van outside a house in Mt Roskill.
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A 15 metre gum tree fell on Robyn Whittaker and Mike Schultze’s roof in Rodney.
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Workers clean up on Auckland's Great North Road.
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A tree swallows up two cars in Devonport.
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Absinthe Lucas and dad, Jamie, make the most of water in Kaiapoi.
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Bernadette Thomas surveys her garage after heavy rain flooded Kaiapoi.
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Tree down at a non-display area in Auckland Zoo.
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Lines down in Titirangi, Auckland. Pedestrians had to crawl under the tree.
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"How close was this? If the tree had fallen the other way then say goodbye to our roof!" said Brett Ihaka of Titirangi.
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A falling tree damaged the roof of this North Shore house and destroyed the clothes line.
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Power lines down on the road in Henderson.
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A pine tree branch fell on power lines on Auckland's North Shore.
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A boat grounded at the North Shore end of Auckland's Harbour Bridge.
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Davies, 11, in front of the roof of his home which blew off in high winds at Wainui in the Rodney District.
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Bridge washed out on Grays Road, Amberley.

It's a miracle Trent Griffiths is alive after a giant gum tree smashed through his bedroom roof early this morning.

The 14-year-old from Manly woke to find more than just his blankets covering him during the near-cyclone force storm which hit the Whangaparaoa Peninsula overnight.

"I woke up surrounded by the roof that fell on me," he said.

Storm roof kid
LUCKY ESCAPE: Trent Griffiths, 14, woke at 1am with his bedroom roof on top of him.

"I started feeling rain on my face and thought 'what?'. Mum was yelling and I started freaking out. I couldn't breathe with all the dust around."

Mum Robyn rushed into the bedroom of their Manly home to find her son under the debris.

Trent couldn't move at first but slowly wriggled his way out. The power was out and the family didn't have a torch or any lights. They were rescued by the local fire crew.

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Trent was taken to North Shore Hospital for treatment to a head cut caused by a a piece of roof truss, and was later discharged.

The family saw the damage for the first time at about 8.30am.

"I was like, 'wow'. It was pretty close," Trent said.

Robyn said seeing the room made her feel sick.

"He nearly died. It was so close," she said. 

Neighbour Celia Cooper said she and her husband were awake listening to the wind.

"I heard the tinkling of glass so I looked out the blinds and didn't see much," she said.

"I was just getting back into bed when there was an almighty crash. It sounded like thunder. I opened the blinds again and saw the tree had come down. I couldn't see the extent of the damage, but we knew it was bad."

Just 200 metres down the road Robyn Whittaker and Mike Schultze also had a close call after a 15m gum tree fell on top of their water tank and house at 1.45am. 

The tree smashed through the room where Whittaker and daughter Rose were sleeping. Schultze was away on a business trip.

''We were both fast asleep and there was an enormous noise,'' Whittaker said.

"Rose was in with me because of the storm. She slept through it completely. I had to pull her out of the bed as I didn't know if that was it, if it was over or if it would keep coming."

The tree penetrated the ceiling but the water tank took the full impact.

Another half of the tree landed on Whangaparaoa Primary School's native gardens.

WHAT A MESS: Robyn Whittaker and Mike Schultze, whose house was hit by the 15m gum tree. Photo: CARALISE TRAYES

Rodney Times