ACS Limited’s Tim O’Connor is pictured with a Norfolk pine that has come through the roof after a tornado ripped through Waikanae. Photo / Rosalie Willis
Multiple tornadoes have ripped through Kāpiti just over a week after two tornadoes left damage in their wake last Wednesday.
Tim O’Connor from ACS Limited on Omahi St, Waikanae said he didn’t know what was happening when a tornado came through around 1.15pm.
“I was upstairs in the office and I thought the weather was looking a bit odd so I raced downstairs and saw all this debris flying around.
“It just got worse and then the trees started coming through the building.
“It was shaking and shuddering and I thought if it was a tornado is it going to rip the building apart?
“By this time I was at the entranceway making sure the door wouldn’t fly off.
“We couldn’t actually see a lot of what was happening.”
Tree branches have pierced through the roof in multiple places, with two big Norfolk pine narrowly missing a Ferrari.
“We service car audio products, so we are just trying to make sure all the electronics are kept dry at the moment.
“The tree which went through the roof will probably have to be lifted out by a crane.
“We’re lucky no one was working on the Ferraris.”
Wellington Free Ambulance confirmed one person was taken to an urgent care centre in Paraparaumu in a minor condition.
It’s believed they were in their vehicle when the tornado hit.
Carolyn Lawton from Coastal Landscape Supplies on Omahi St said in the 26 years she’s been here she’s never seen anything like it.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s out the gate.
“We’ve been saying the big Norfolk pines have needed to come down for years, and now they have, into the buildings.”
Fire and Emergency New Zealand shift manager Lyn Crosson said they have received several reports of a tornado in Waikanae and Paraparaumu in Kāpiti.
She said up to six houses have been damaged, along with other businesses.
A number of trees have also been brought down due to the tornado, which would have damaged some cars as well, she said.
Wellington Region Emergency Management Office is urging residents in Porirua and Kāpiti to prepare for high seas from midnight tonight until midnight Friday.
Manager Jeremy Holmes said there was potential for more wave run-up and flooding, with coastal residents facing instances of coastal erosion, scouring, surface flooding and deposits of driftwood, seaweed, sand and gravel.
“We urge residents in affected areas to start thinking about ways to reduce impacts of swells on their property, such as using sandbags or barriers and moving things off their front lawn and driveway.”
Kāpiti residents in Paekakariki, Raumati South, Raumati Beach, Te Horo Beach and Ōtaki Beach could see waves overtopping seawalls, causing surface flooding and debris disposal.
“We could also see debris disposal and surface flooding on State Highway 59 so we urge anyone planning to drive along this road to take care and use Transmission Gully as an alternative if they can, said Holmes.