Weather: Mercury Bay Boat Club survives Cyclone Hale after locals made urgent attempt to save it

As Cyclone Hale thrashed the Coromandel, one community building looked set to bear the brunt of the storm. 

Mercury Bay Boat Club in Whitianga has a rich history because in 1988 it challenged for the America's Cup. Following the wild weather, club members made the call to do whatever they could in an urgent attempt to save it. 

The unruly ocean threatened what was left of the land it sat on after metres of ground was eroded overnight. 

"Last night was a really difficult and traumatic night. From about 9:30pm until midnight, we were in a high tide cycle with the most devastating powerful waves I've seen in a long time," said Jonathan Kline, Mercury Bay Boating Club commodore. "We've lost at least three and a half or four metres over a two-tide cycle."

Club members and Whitianga locals were sandbagging and laying concrete blocks from early on Wednesday morning, preparing for the worst to hit the club-building at the next high tide. 

They removed the building's deck and built a fortress, all without the council granting permission. They said they felt they had no choice.  

"This morning we made the very difficult decision to break the law and we reached out to the community and to the community experts to assist us to build a temporary defence," Kline said.

Whitianga was one of the spots completely cut off on Wednesday, with both of the two main roads into the Coromandel closed. 

A giant slip blocked the highway known as the coastal road, while silt and muck covered the other route, State Highway 25A. 

Today's slip is nestled right beside where another major slip closed the same road with last week's bad weather. Contractors still haven't had time to finish clearing this one, and now they're dealing with another.

All of the debris made travel impossible for locals and for tourists. 

"I've literally just come all the way from Auckland, and obviously that road's closed, so will just have to go all the way down and around - scenic route," one person told Newshub.

"We've come from Melbourne so we've got low expectations, we're used to the bad weather," another said.

But while road closures again ruined Coromandel holiday plans, there was one silver lining from the storm - the Mercury Bay Boat Club survived. 

"It worked in the last high tide cycle. I don't want to test it again in like what I saw last night," Kline said.

Now it needs to be picked up and relocated so the community doesn't need to fight through the night save it again.

A Givealittle crowdfunding campaign has been opened to help raise funds to relocate the building.