Homeowners in Queenstown are counting the cost of the freak winds.
The storm caused tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage – including ripping the roof off a Sunshine Bay home.
Tenants Stephanie Ross, 24, and Chantel Praset, 23, were sheltering in their lounge in O’Leary’s Paddock, off Arawata Terrace, when the severe gusts hit.
Ross, from Cambridge, England, says: “I was in the kitchen and saw the metal bus shelter rip off and fly towards the house.
“I shouted to get down and away from the windows.
“The whole place was shuddering and there was a big crash.
“When we went outside about 20 people were standing staring at the house.
“A big piece of iron was lying in the street. About half of our roof had gone.”
Pieces of metal and Pink Batts roofing insulation were scattered across the neighbourhood.
The women, both bar staff, called the fire brigade who made the property safe.
In Middleton Road, near Frankton, residents watched in shock as the gales blew a jet ski and trailer off a car port on to a house veranda below.
And in a field in Arthurs Point, Phil Wiel found there was not much left of his wife’s potting shed.
Weil says: “It has been completely flattened.
“Parts of it were scattered all across the field and over the other side of the road.
“The storms uprooted and snapped a couple of big trees. It was quite dangerous around here at the time.”