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A house has been damaged in Kerepehi after a tornado ripped through the rural town. PHOTO: NIKKI SANDERS

Tornado tears through Hauraki

A tornado has damaged multiple houses and businesses across the Hauraki, as a burst of wild weather moved throughout the district on Wednesday afternoon. 
The treasurer of the Paeroa RV Centre on Coronation Street, Michele MacDonald, told The Profile that a roof of one of the cabins on site was “peeled back like a sardine can”.
“It was raining so heavily that no one could go outside to see what had happened, it was a downpour, and the chairperson here they were trapped in their van because their awning fell over their door so they couldn’t get out,” she said.
“There was lightning and thunder and then instantly the tornado came through, it was quite frightening but I’m grateful no one was hurt.”
Michele said there was around 56 permanent residents at the park. They’ll now have to get an insurance company in to assess the damage. 
A reporter at the scene said there was additional damage to fences at the front of the property, and the roof had come off a cabin.
Inside, there was visible damage to furniture as well.
Residents of the RV Centre were calm despite the rain still being “relatively heavy”, but a fire engine was present, as were electricians and volunteers who were already cleaning up the site.
Meanwhile, a worker at a business in the industrial precinct of Kerepehi reported seeing a “big, blue flash” during the storm’s onset.
Another business has damage to its roof and windows. 
In Paeroa, there are more than 1000 homes without power as Fire and Emergency responds to further damage in the town. 
The Karangahake Gorge was also temporarily closed due to a fallen tree. 

– Additional reporting by Gordon Preece.

A Kerepehi business has suffered major damage to its roof. PHOTO: NIKKI SANDERS
Debris has been strewn across Hauraki farmland. PHOTO: NIKKI SANDERS
The Paeroa RV Centre was also hit by the sudden tornado. PHOTO: GORDON PREECE