Community groups have been left reeling after heavy rain and strong winds blew part of a roof off their centre. Volunteers at the Rotorua Community Centre on Te Ngae Rd arrived yesterday morning to find part of the building's roof on the ground and water pooling.

The offices of the Jacob Willemsen Trust and Literacy Rotorua are unusable for the immediate future, after 62mm of rain and winds of up to 54km/h in the city overnight on Wednesday.

The forecast is not looking much better, with MetService predicting more rain and below freezing temperatures over the next 10 days.

"It's devastating," said John Willemsen.


"We've just finished our office. We've been working hard for the community but now we're back to square one."

Literacy Rotorua manager Mary Longson said the water damage to the classroom meant the group had to cancel all sessions for the rest of the week.

"It's hard enough for them [clients] to admit they need help, it's really important for them that we are here. When you put them off, it doesn't help."

She had moved the computers to her office but there was no space for students.

At the building, which also houses the Menz Shed, contractors yesterday fixed the skylight and wet carpets, and wet walls were being dried using air movers and commercial dehumidifiers. Electricians were checking electrical wiring.

Rotorua Lakes Council staff spent the day fixing various buildings around the city damaged by the strong winds and rain. The council also closed all sportsfields.

A roof at the council nursery was fixed and roof sheets at the Red Cross shop blown loose.

There was also some water leakage into the auditorium at the Soundshell, due to a sheet of iron on the roof coming loose.


Rotorua Daily Post readers shared their weather damage tales on Facebook yesterday.

One said part of their deck frame had been blown off, another reported a greenhouse with 1500 seedlings was blown over, and another shared a photo of their barbecue tipped over.

Overnight Wednesday hundreds of people also lost power. In Mamaku, 377 customers were affected when power lines were blown down at 12.38am yesterday. Fault crews were able to quickly restore all but 113 customers, who were reconnected once repairs were completed at 7.23am. The outage affected customers on Maraeroa Rd, Umuroa St and Oturoa Rd.

The power was out for a few hours yesterday on Tumunui Rd, Tauranga Direct Rd and in Reporoa, where 61 customers were affected. The cuts originally hit 134 customers in the Reporoa area.

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