Storm Batters Auckland
It was a miracle there wasn’t more damage!
On the evening of Tuesday 10th April, the worst winds I can remember tore through my property. At 10pm I was outside attempting to tie garden furniture down, which was trying to fly off! When I went to get a rope out of my truck, a rather large palm tree, outside my front door, was threatening to snap in half!! I have been scared a few times in my life, a small number of times in glasshouses when high winds have been threatening, but this was something else, a new experience!
Like a lot of people, we lost power. It was restored at 3pm the following day, so we were among the lucky ones. Even though the storm was predicted, the winds were only forecast for 50-60 kilometres per hour. I don’t know exactly what the wind speed was, all I know is that it felt like a lot more than 50-60 klm/hour, and it was bloody terrifying. When I finally went to bed at 1am, after blowing out the candles, I was thinking, thank goodness that happened at night and not during the day. Being inside a glasshouse when glass is breaking and falling is not a nice experience.
Over the next couple of days, I contacted local growers to ask about the damage. It came of no surprise to me when I heard quite a few growers had damage. It was quite mixed as some had major damage and some had very little, if any! Two greenhouses within one kilometre of my property were affected. One had half its ridge venting ripped off the plastic house. The worst was the glasshouse which lost up to one hundred panes of glass with several gutters collapsing. The crop had just been removed, so the glasshouse had no weight pulling down on the structure. In one way this probably did not help but at least no plants were lost.
Most growers were without power except those with emergency generators. It was a timely reminder that things can go wrong very quickly. Some 7 days later while I write this, some Auckland residents still do not have power!! I think the properties that had generators, would have been very happy, as it was not only the biggest storm of the year, but the coldest evening by far with temperatures plummeting.
We keep being told this type of weather could become more prevalent. Potential damage to greenhouses could become more common. It is a timely reminder to make sure your insurances are up to date. Talk to your Insurer and make sure that your policy covers you correctly. You might even want to enquire about policies that cover income protection just in case you lose your crop to such an event.
Talking to counties power the following day I was informed there were at least 50 lines reported down in the region! Power could have been out for a lot longer. If it was in the summer then a lot of crops could easily have been lost due to a lack of irrigation and venting except those with emergency generators to hand. It is a cost to have a generator but probably something not enough growers have to protect their investments?
Red Poles and wooden beams are used to support the glasshouse until repairs can be made
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