Roof sailed in tornado air

BLOWN AWAY: About 30 trees came down on Te Aroha Golf Course in last week’s storm.
BLOWN AWAY: About 30 trees came down on Te Aroha Golf Course in last week’s storm.

A roof was seen sailing through the air when a small tornado tore through a home in Te Aroha West.

Stanley Rd South farmer Jim Stewart dialled 111 when he saw his neighbour's roof airborne about 4.30pm on Friday.

"I was looking out the window then boom, there was this huge noise I heard, then I saw the roof flying through the air."

The home's occupants, elderly couple John and Sue Trumper, were shaken but unharmed in the event and were able to remain in the house after it was secured by the Te Aroha Fire Brigade. Roger Clark, senior station officer, said half the roof was completely gone when the brigade reached the scene.

"Bits of timber had been blown 400m, 500m down the farm. We ended up tarping the roof and making it safe for them and their living area was still fine."

Next door, the tornado damaged a shed on Stewart's property that had been weakened in a previous storm, he said.

"There's the odd branch here and there down and we had a side of a wooden shed fly out but I can live with that."

Volunteer firemen at Te Aroha responded to 54 calls between Tuesday night and Saturday evening. Clark estimated 80 per cent of the calls related to roofs lifting in the winds.

This week would be about residents dealing with the aftermath.

North of Huntly, the storm created a patch of fresh potholes on State Highway 1, which has closed the southbound lane until further notice. In Thames, the Kauaeranga River on Kauaeranga Valley Rd, came close to flooding on Saturday night, with the Thames Coromandel District Council advising farmers to move stock from surrounding paddocks. The river peaked at 9m but by yesterday afternoon it had dropped to 6.7m.

Waikato Times