The New Zealand Herald

Neighbour: ‘Is that your roof or mine?’

- — Michael Neilson

Richard Draper was about to go to bed when he heard what sounded like an “aircraft crashing into the ceiling”.

The 86-year-old Aucklander rushed outside his home in Monte Cassino Place, in Birkdale, about 9.30pm on Tuesday to find his corrugated iron roof splayed across his neighbour’s backyard.

“It was unbelievab­le. It sounded as if an aircraft had crashed through the ceiling.

“It all went on for a couple of minutes. I just stood and hoped the whole ceiling wouldn’t come in. Not much you could do.”

The overnight southerly storm brought hurricane-force gusts of 140km/h across the city, peaking at 213km/h at Manukau Heads.

Draper’s neighbour Jasper Hamlet had arrived home just before the roof lifted off.

“We first noticed the roof was hanging a little bit, like a parachute catching the air. I heard it creaking away.

“Then all of a sudden a big piece of corrugated iron came flying off, and the rest of the roof with it. The roof was obliterate­d, ended up in our backyard with the Pink Batts and TV aerial.”

He went down to check the damage, where he saw Draper.

“He came out of his house, looking at the roof on the ground and asked me, ‘ Is that your roof or my roof?’ I said, ‘ Unfortunat­ely, it’s yours.’”

Hamlet said he and his girlfriend were lucky their place escaped damage.

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