Large falling trees, uprooted by high winds in the 29 May storm, damaged houses on Erua Road. Photos Geoff Thomas

A powerful storm ripped through the Auckland region and battered the whole upper North Island last Wednesday night, 29 May. Niwa recorded 2000 lightning strikes and thousands of people were left in the dark as power went out across the region. Metservice reported wind speeds reaching 120 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 144kph along with torrential rain. On Waiheke the power was knocked out across the island for most of the evening, coming back on in most places around 9pm, and the strong winds brought trees down on houses, powerlines, roads and cars. Waiheke Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Bruce Sciascia says it was a busy night for the brigade. “We were definitely out and about that evening, we had about a half dozen callouts.” 

The first was at 5.40pm, when a large palm tree fell on an unoccupied house, with another tree hitting a home on Erua Road shortly afterwards at 7.30pm. At 9.15pm the high winds lifted a roof off a balcony on Albert Crescent.  • Paul Mitchell

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