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;

broken hinge * TRELLIS GATE…this had been pushed right back on its hinges, BEHIND the catch pushed right back on hinges (-see gouge marks on wall)

…one screw was half out, but this one bent screw was the one (on right) which was still in the latch!

* 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.

* Visitors who have had their photos here, will recognise this!!!trees down

* This tree – torn in two blown to bits tree now in two but a delicate shrub (not 2m away) wasn’t even touched.

* 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.

* Leaf matter was everywhere leaf matter everywhere ….even up under the veranda ceilings.

* Woolshed window had been blown OUT, woolshed window no more woolshed window blown-out and all of the glass was in a neat little pile (several metres away)

* AND OH!! WHAT A MESS…

Macrocapa trees; the 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.