Papatoetoe, Auckland tornado: Damaged home had just been sold to a new owner who moves in next month

A Papatoetoe family whose home was damaged in yesterday’s tornado are rushing to make repairs before a new owner moves in next month.

Annelise Greenfield woke this morning thinking “was yesterday real or a nightmare?”.

A day earlier she huddled in the hallway with her husband and three children and prayed as the tornado tore its way up Grande Vue Drive.

“The noise was horrendous, it sounded like our roof was being ripped off. My 10-year-old thought she was going to die. She was petrified.”

The Greenfields lost some of their fence, the letterbox was at the front door, the garage door was smashed in and the roof was damaged.

The spa pool lid flipped and there is glass on the deck and spa, and one of the daughter’s car is a write-off.

“This morning it still looks like a war zone,” Annelise said.

Following a night without power, Annelise had the immediate job today of taking her two teenage daughters to ballet in Papakura before being booked in for surgery tomorrow.

The Greenfields also have the matter of repairing damage to their home of 15 years before they move to a new home at Shelly Park in east Auckland and the new owner moves in.

The sale of the house went unconditional two weeks ago.

Annelise said she had let the new owner know about the damage from the tornado. The new owner’s insurance will pay for the repairs.

“She came round and looked at it and was so grateful we are still living in the property and taking the steps we have to keep it safe and secure,” said Annelise, whose husband is a builder.

“On top of surgery, sorting out a tornado, we have to move. It seems like everything all at once,” she said.

The Greenfields were also relieved when the family cat, Stella, showed up last night after disappearing for 12 hours after the tornado.

“We were quite concerned the cat might have been trapped under some debris. It was a relief for her to come home last night,” she said.

The family spent last night securing tarpaulins over their damaged roof and got a generator running. Civil Defence staff knocked on their door to see if the family was okay and members of the local Seventh Day Adventist church turned up with a dinner of chicken noodle soup, saladand chocolate chip banana muffins.

“I was in such shock I couldn’t think about eating,” said Annelise, who earlier in the day had scrambled her family including a 10-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, to safety.

“It sounded like a plane was landing on our house. We sat in the hallway and hugging each other and started praying.”

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