One family was evacuated after their home was damaged by a fallen tree yesterday and residents are still without power after the storm which ripped through the region.

Firefighters were called to two fallen trees yesterday in Rotorua amid a downpour, strong winds and thunder and lightning.

The active weather system that caused so much damage in Northland moved through Auckland to the Bay of Plenty, where hundreds of lightning strikes were recorded.

The tornado sweeps through Te Puna, Armstrong Rd yesterday. Photo / The Harrisons
The tornado sweeps through Te Puna, Armstrong Rd yesterday. Photo / The Harrisons

In the western Bay of Plenty, a tornado was blamed for damage to at least two houses in Te Puna after a fierce thunderstorm ripped through yesterday.

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Power was knocked out to more than 1000 properties in Tauranga and Rotorua, trees were downed on roads and railway tracks in the storm, which hit just before 3pm.

According to the Unison Website, Te Weta Rd and Wharetoroa Drive have a combined total of 40 customers without power this morning.

A Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) spokesman said they were called to a fallen tree which damaged a power line and a house at 5.26pm on State Highway 30, Rotoiti Forest near Te Urumahue Rd.

Fire services were at the scene for just over an hour.

The house had minor damage but the spokesman said the residents decided to stay somewhere else for the night.

Another tree had fallen less than two hours earlier on Tarawera Drive, Lynmore and fire services took about 15 minutes to clear the road.

In Rotorua, 979 properties were initially reported yesterday afternoon to be without power on the Unison website.


According to the PowerCo website, power was knocked out to 135 properties in Te Puke and 114 in Whakamarama yesterday afternoon, but has since been restored.

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There were 151 in the Rerewhakaaitu area, 684 in the Lake Okataina and Lake Rotoma areas and 144 in the Waikite Valley.

KiwiRail executive general manager operations Siva Sivapakkiam said works to clear the track have been completed and train running has resumed.

But the weather is expected to be calmer than yesterday and MetService forecast showers clearing this morning to fine in Rotorua and Tauranga. The odd shower returning evening, with a period of rain overnight. Strong westerlies.eve