APRIL 15 2008 – TORNADO hits our New Zealand SHEEP FARM
(…an unusual occurrence, so this was quite interesting for us!!)
As it was raining (and we couldn’t do any work outside on the farm), we went out on business. We went over to Silverdale (on the East coast of Auckland). When we left (about 1245), there was some loud thunder and we saw some fairly blinding lightning while we were driving…but that was about all.
We arrived home about 1630, and as we drove up the driveway Stuart said he was certain he hadn’t left the attic windows open THAT far!!…then we saw the damage to the trees…I raced around the back of the house as I was terribly worried about the aviaries – (thankfully everything was OK!) But on investigation, we found some pretty bizarre things;
* A heavy rubbish bin’s lid had been opened and some of its contents ‘sucked-out’ and scattered around the other side of the house, piled up onto the front deck, and yet a box of papers (not 4m away) had not moved one inch.
* A heavy deck chair had been dragged 6m along the deck, and yet a tall tree in a small plastic pot was still standing upright.
* AND OH!! WHAT A MESS…
A couple of our neighbours witnessed a ‘cloud’ appearing in our locality. They both said the wind was very intense with tree branches flying up in the air. it lasted all but 5 minutes! Although we have had storm damage before, this is one of the worst ones we have ever experienced. We know this is nowhere near the damage that occurs with ‘twisters’, but if our damage is anything to go by, our heats go out to everyone who has ever lived through one.
Sadly, later that night on the TV news, we learnt that a man and his horse had been struck by lightning (in Dargaville, Northland) – this was the same weather bomb that moved down the West coast and moved inland to our area.