Storm force winds batter city

Signs of the gale, trees down and boats ashore. Photos: Tracy Hardy.

“I've been wishing that tree down for a really long time,” says Otumoetai resident Rebecca McEwan of the large tree that blew down over her Glenn Terrace driveway overnight.

“At this time of year it loses all its leaves, and it's messing up the concrete wall here, so it was on my wish list – but not like that.

“But considering there was a car in the other driveway, we have actually got off real light.”

Her 16-year-old son Cameron macIntosh, who'd been sleeping in the bedroom right beside the tree, said; ‘Oh, I thought I heard something', and went back to sleep, says Rebecca.

Tauranga City Council contractors were clearing the remains today. Because the Melia tree landed on the road the council is taking responsibility for clearing it up, says Rebecca.

Rebecca with her son Cameron MacIntosh, 16. 

About 60 households in the Otumoetai area were without power this morning, with Powerco advising it is investigating the cause. In Katikati there are 30 houses without power after storm force winds battered the Western Bay of Plenty last night.

The peak gust of 80 knots – 148km/h was recorded at the Port of Tauranga Sulphur Point terminal at 4am – three times what was forecast - says operations manager Phil Julian.

Tauranga firefighters had one call overnight to a tree down across both lanes of Ngatai Road at 2am.

One of the boats moored in the Waikareao Estuary was blown onto rocks behind the Mobil service station in Chapel Street.

The owner was checking its condition this morning, but did not want to talk about it.


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