8 Oct 2013

Tornado-like storm hits Devonport

10:10 pm on 8 October 2013

The suburb of Devonport on Auckland's North shore is cleaning up after what some residents believe was a small tornado.

A severe burst of weather just under four hours ago littered the streets with debris and damaged a home.

Damage in Devonport's Vauxhall Road.

Damage in Devonport's Vauxhall Road. Photo: RNZ

MetService forecasters say while the damage could be from a tornado it's more likely from severe gusts of wind.

Whatever the cause, the damage left Devonport in disarray.

Debris stuck in power lines meant power was cut to about 600 homes.

A Radio New Zealand producer, Catherine Walbridge, was at Vauxhall Road, which suffered most of the damage.

She says the road was blocked off; a piece of roof or tarpaulin was hanging off telephone wires; a tree was down on the pavement; and part of the front of a house appeared to have had a bit ripped off it, with a fireman up a ladder trying to gauge the extent of the damage.

Fire Service communications centre shift commander, Steve Smith, says the damage was done quickly and was very localised.

"We only had about half-a-dozen calls. I think we were quite lucky we got out of it quite well. By about quarter to seven it had disappeared and we think it must have gone out to sea because we had no further calls."

Auckland mayor Len Brown says his thoughts are with residents.