Dramatic footage shows tornado tearing through Auckland businesses

Dramatic new video has revealed the moment a tornado tore through businesses in Auckland on Saturday morning.

One building was left exposed like a doll's house, and CCTV footage given exclusively to Newshub shows the moment the tornado ripped off the front of the building and left people inside jumping for cover under desks.

Seanney Gibb was in the warehouse at Elite Bathroomware when she heard a deafening roar.

"We kind of grabbed each other and ran behind shelves. You could see the whole roof lifting up. It was just so fast you wouldn't think that much damage could happen in 20 seconds."

Sales manager Jono Hillary says they weathered the COVID-19 storm before being hit by another.

"It kind of feels like what else is 2020 going to throw at us but we'll just take it in our stride and, you know, box on."

For the branding business upstairs, Sharton International, things aren't looking so good.

Sixty percent of the stock and showroom was sucked out of the building, the company's director Rex Lim says.  

"Pretty devastated really, after 23 years in the business it's like starting over again. And with the virus lockdown and everything, yes, it's pretty hard."

Lim says it was lucky it was a Saturday and no one was in the office.

"We'd have been sucked out through the facade. There would be some terrific injury I'd say." 

On nearby Arwen Place, CCTV shows a container being tossed like a tin can.

"Until you can see devastation of tornadoes you don't really understand the magnitude of the force," said Danny's Real Pita Bread managing director, Yaron Eliahu.  

"Nothing stood in the way, I mean, one of my trees there, it's been here for 30 years. The truck is over one metre wide, it's made a toothpick out of it."

Luckily there were no injuries, but once the clean up is finished, it could be time for a street party.

When the tornado tore through Auckland on Saturday, multiple buildings and roofs were damaged, and winds were strong enough a trampoline became wrapped around a power pole.

Fire and Emergency received reports of "major structural damage" and were constantly going from one job to the next. 

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