Greymouth cleans up after windstorm

01:43, Jan 31 2009

More than 100 Greymouth residents were today busy booking repairs for damage to their homes following yesterday's devastating wind storm.

The winds, which peaked at 150kmh, howled down the Grey River on suburban Cobden with such velocity they shook brick buildings and left widespread damage including damaged roofs, broken fences, fallen trees and powerlines.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the situation was far worse than he expected.

"Sixty-seven Housing NZ homes have been damaged and that number will be much bigger, as it does not include privately owned residences."

Grey District Council today organised for a truck load of tarpaulins to be sent from Christchurch to patch up damaged roofs and the mayor appealed for more.

"If people have tarpaulins could they please drop them off at the Cobden fire station?


"We are also urgently calling for people with carpentry skills and roofing experience to go to Cobden and help people get their roofs and homes back to some normality."

The gale force winds started to strike Cobden at 4am yesterday but built up in intensity throughout the day, blowing off roofs across the river in central Greymouth and the seaside suburb of Blaketown.

Cobden streets were this morning strewn with debris - roofing iron, street signs, trees and fences.

The winds brought down powerlines and trees across the suburb, shattered windows and peeled off whole roofs.