The pregnant woman and family lose house after the New Plymouth tornado roof sucks away


Daisy Symes says they could only watch how a tornado was torn on the roof of her New Plymouth house on Monday night.

A now homeless woman protected her pregnant stomach as she covered her cousin when a tornado tore the roof of her house.

Daisy Symes and the six-year-old lay together on the lounge floor of her new home in Plymouth on Monday evening when the violent whirlwind hit the city, causing minor damage to around 20 homes and 11 of damage.

"We saw the roof rise through the manhole in our living room," she said.

Pregnant Daisy Symes and finance Nathan Woods became homeless after the tornado.


Pregnant Daisy Symes and finance Nathan Woods became homeless after the tornado.

"We could see the sky and things were flying over us.

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"I just snapped it under me … I just tried to keep it safe."

The damaged house after the tornado.


The damaged house after the tornado.

Just a few moments earlier, the 22-year-old was in her Belt Rd home kitchen when she noticed that the weather was "really dramatic".

"I was going to take out my phone and make videos.

"Then I saw a wooden plank fly over our house and I knew that was not a good sign."

Within a minute the roaring wind continued, slammed windows, lifted the roof and tore the front door out of the hinges.

Symes left the damage behind, and Nathan Woods and her sister became homeless after the house, estimated to be at least 150 years old, was considered untouchable by an insurance assessor and civil defense, said Symes.

Although the insurance will cover the repairs to the house, the trio have no home insurance and have lost some household items.

But it is the damage to the sentimental significance of the house that caused Symes the greatest loss.

About eight years ago, her mother bought the property and the house became her project.

But she died of cancer almost three years ago.

Symes said that living in the house had the feeling that she had to keep up with her mother because it showed off her character.

"She changed the front part of the house and bought an old antique window … it got ripped out.

"It was rather sad to see that a lot of her work went up in the wind."

Two days after the tornado, Symes still struggled with her emotions and the uncertainty of her near future.

After 21 weeks of being pregnant, she and Woods were preparing for the birth of their first child, but now they feel financially burdened and go to make couches between friends.

They have been told that repairs to their homes take up to five months, so now they are saving for the deposit of a rented house so that they can prepare themselves for the approaching arrival of their child.

"I feel pretty emotionally empty," Symes said.

"We are literally homeless."

A Givealittle page has been created to help the couple.

– Stuff

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