18 Jul 2015

Auckland pounded by wild weather

4:04 pm on 18 July 2015

Auckland took a pounding this morning, as wild weather swept across the city.

A downed tree at Evelyn Street, Paptoetoe.

A downed tree at Evelyn Street, Paptoetoe. Photo: RNZ

Strong winds uprooted trees, damaged roofs and cut power to several areas.

MetService said the city had 18 mms of rain in one hour; 6 mms is classified as heavy.

The Fire Service says it has had about 150 weather-related callouts in Auckland and Tauranga in the past few hours as a series of storm fronts move through the North Island.

In Auckland about 20 homes have had their roofs damaged by winds or falling trees, while in central Tauranga there's been some damage to commercial buildings and also to several houses in Papamoa.

Fire service spokesperson, Scott Osmond, said no injuries had been reported.

Mr Osmond said extra crews were on standby with more strong winds predicted for this evening.

Crews are working to restore power to about 4500 properties in Bay of Plenty and another 1400 on the Coromandel Peninsula.

In Auckland just over 250 properties remain without power after widespread cuts this morning.

Some Ellerslie residents said a sudden but short-lived squall at about 1030 am today felt like a mini-tornado.

The occupant of a Mt Wellington house was unharmed when a tree fell on it.

Papatoetoe resident Kylie Kilmartin said her 91-year-old grandmother's home was severely damaged by strong winds.

She said her grandmother was making a cup of coffee in the kitchen when half the roof was blown off.

Home of 91 year old hit by mini-Tornado. Wallace Rd Papatoetoe.

Home of 91-year-old hit by mini-Tornado. Wallace Rd Papatoetoe. Photo: RNZ/ Eileen Cameron

Ms Kilmartin said her grandmother heard a massive noise and rang her, telling her the kitchen windows had blown out.

When she arrived at the house, a fence from across the road had also been torn up and sent crashing into her living room.

Storm damage in Grande Vue Rd, Papatoetoe.

Storm damage in Grande Vue Rd, Papatoetoe. This tree had plenty of canopy until it ended up first in the roof of the house, then the property behind. Photo: RNZ/ Eileen Cameron

Police have closed off Crummer Street in Ponsonby where scaffolding from a construction site was left dangling above the road.

The rain has now eased off, but MetService said a cold front due to pass over the North Island this evening could bring thunderstorms and gusts of up to 120 kms/hr.

Royal Oak Mall on Manukau Road in Auckland was closed due to flooding and Civil Defence said the wind had seriously damaged the roofs of at least five houses, and felled many trees across the city.

Police have closed off Crummer Street in Ponsonby where scaffolding from a construction site was left dangling above the road.

Tim Jackson was inside his house when the roof was torn off by a passing gust of wind.

Tim Jackson was inside his house when the roof was torn off by a passing gust of wind. Photo: RNZ/Nicole Pryor

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