Much of Kāpiti was on the receiving end of a nasty weather bomb that hit over the last couple of days. Hot on the heels of torrential rain and fierce winds came a tornado early this morning (Tuesday) which swept through Paraparaumu causing significant damage to houses and scattering trees and fences.
Lee Norris and her family in Consort Close, Paraparaumu were in danger of losing the roof of their house as the tornado struck.
Lee’s son Kent said they could hear it coming. “It was about 5.30am and suddenly the whole house was shaking, then bang and it was all over.
Lee says they were lucky the roof stayed on.
“We thought if was lifting off and the fire service team are strapping it down. The trees and fence were wiped out very quickly. The whole thing was over in about 10 seconds. There is plenty of debris to sort out but the biggest concern was the roof.”
In all about 20 properties were damaged including one home being lifted off its piles.
Steve Hudson, Fire and Emergency incident controller says the damage ranged from roofs being blown off to minor structural damage.
Fire and Emergency have confirmed homes in Paraparaumu had their roofs blown off or parts of their roofs damaged. One house was lifted off its piles and the Metlifecare retirement village in Paraparaumu suffered some damage.
Fire and emergency told KCNews they had been flat out responding to calls relating to tornado damage which started around 5.30am.
The tornado was understood to have started in Nikau Valley, between Waikanae and Paraparaumu, before it headed out to sea.
If residents were concerned by tornado damage they were urged to call 111 and ask for fire and emergency. If their concerns were not urgent, Fire and Emergency urged residents to contact Kāpiti Coast District Council. Kāpiti Mayor Janet Holborow confirmed the tornado had also caused some power outages.
“It must have been a terrifying experience for many residents and we have received many reports of property damage,” says Mayor Holborow.
“Council is doing all we can to assist affected residents. I encourage everyone to stay safe and contact Council if you need help.”