Auckland Mayor Len Brown was joined by Kaipatiki Local Board Chair Lindsay Waugh and Member Richard Hills this morning [images available], inspecting the damage and speaking with affected residents.
More than 20 houses were damaged with trees falling on properties, roofing material ripped off, windows broken and water damage causing ceiling collapses.
Mrs Waugh returned to Roseberry Avenue this morning having checked out friends living in the street yesterday afternoon and visiting the Civil Defence welfare centre at the nearby North Shore Events Centre last night.
“We are fortunate that there was no loss of life or significant injury in the Birkenhead area and we share the community’s sadness over the loss of life in Albany.
“If the tornado had come through five minutes later, the trees that fell outside Glenfield College could have caused significant injury to pupils leaving the college.
“As it was a few cars were crushed by falling trees and drivers had to be helped from the wreckage. Pupils were extremely scared as they watched the destruction and hear debris raining down on classroom roofs,” she recalled.
Len Brown and Richard Hills joined Lindsay Waugh around 10am this morning to inspect the property damage and comfort residents still recovering from the shock.
Mrs Waugh praised the emergency services, marshalled by Auckland’s Civil Defence team, for their swift actions.
“Civil Defence and emergency services were extremely prompt and efficient in their response. There were cranes and teams chain-sawing and mulching the trees in Kaipatiki Road outside the (Glenfield)college within half an hour.
“Council staff and contractors worked well into the night clearing debris and re-establishing services.
“Although there was only one person who needed the help of the welfare centre [at the events centre), it was impressive to see the seamless way the various organisations jumped into action. Events centre staff, Work and Income, Victim Support, Salvation Army, Police and Council staff and volunteers were marvellous.”
Mrs Waugh said work will continue today to clean up the far-flung insulation material which rained down across Birkenhead in the aftermath of the tornado.