Three people escaped serious injury after two trees fell across three cars in Havelock North last night.

Hundreds of trees were felled by Cyclone Cook as it hammered through Hawke's Bay last night.

Allan and Kirsten Weir were chatting in their Lucknow Rd home after their house was one of thousands left without power about 9pm.

Allan Weir said a tree on their neighbour's verge fell across a parked car and blocked one lane.


"We heard a big snap and realised the neighbour's tree had fallen, because all the cars were stopping," he said.

As a car passed the fallen tree a second tree landed on top of it and a car waiting to pass in the opposite direction.

"They were both trapped in their cars, but nobody was hurt.

"[It] gave the guy a hell of a fright - it crushed the roof down - and the windscreen came right into the lady in the Peugeot."

"You couldn't see the car - it was covered in foliage - but we got her out through the back seat."

He said the man in the vehicle with its roof crushed received a slight cut, but his passenger escaped injury.

Between 8pm and midnight Hawke's Bay fire service responded to about 60 weather-related emergency calls.

The length of Napier's McDonald St was lined with downed trees, which crushed two parked cars.


Lines company Unison's relationship manager Danny Gough said 15,000 customers lost power from about 8.30pm. Crews were sent to repair downed lines but were recalled until the storm passed because of safety concerns.

At 11.30am today 10,000 customers were still without electricity.

Hawke's Bay Hospital was on a generator until 9am and reports no admissions because of the storm.