Kaimai buster rips roofs off homes

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page -

A Mata­mata cou­ple heard a thun­der­ous clap be­fore watch­ing in hor­ror as the roof of their house was ripped off dur­ing last week’s storm.

Kirsten and Cameron El­liot’s ru­ral home in David­son Rd will cost thou­sands to fix af­ter se­vere gales ripped off the roof, cav­ing in their ceil­ing and flood­ing their home.

The power of the gales hurled the cor­ru­gated iron from their hill-top home across the road into a pad­dock. The wood from the roof was im­paled so deep into the pad­dock that it could not be moved.

Gib and in­su­la­tion was strewn from the cou­ple’s home neigh­bour­ing pad­dock.

Kirsten El­liot said they first felt their three- bed­room home shud­der.

‘‘The house shook, then I could see the sky.’’

Cameron El­liot was in sleep­ing when he heard ‘‘thun­der­ous clap’’.

‘‘I got a big fright, it sounded like an ex­plo­sion went off. I’ve never had some­thing like that hap­pen.’’

The ceil­ing in the kitchen and the cou­ple’s bed­room was com­pletely gone, and rain drenched ev­ery­thing.

to

the bed the

The only room that went un­scathed was the bath­room, which was newly ren­o­vated.

The cou­ple are are now in the process of sift­ing through the re­mains for items that can be saved.

Not far away, Les­ley and Kelvin Hunt used a bit of Kiwi in­ge­nu­ity to save their roof.

Part of the roof on their Old Te Aroha Rd house had come off so Mur­ray Hawk­ings, the cou­ple’s son- in- law, de­cided to use the bucket of a trac­tor to hold down the cor­ru­gated iron.

‘‘My son-in-law came around, had a look and took off to the shed. Next thing you know I see the trac­tor com­ing up,’’ Les­ley said.

Wa­ter had be­gun to leak through the ceil­ing, which will even­tu­ally need to be re­placed.

‘‘ We get what’s called the ‘Kaimai Buster’, the wind that comes from the ranges,’’ Les­ley said.

‘‘ This is the worst we have ex­pe­ri­enced in six years. The last time we had heavy winds, the trel­lis and glass came down.’’

At Opal Hot Springs, car­a­van awnings were blown away and a car­a­van was turned upside down.

Owner Ge­orge Helms said it was the worst storm he had seen since tak­ing over own­er­ship of the premises.

Mata­mata Fire Chief Kevin Cur­tis said the phone calls on Thurs­day were crazy.

The fire crew had been flat out from 7.30am, ‘‘go­ing from job to job’’, he said.

By 1.20pm the sta­tion had al­ready at­tended 22 call­outs that in­volved fallen trees, house dam­age and a man who threat­ened to set him­self on fire dur­ing the heavy rain.

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