Cambridge Leamington Tornado 7:33AM

Noted 0806 hrs NZST 08/06/2010: This article / post and accompanying photographs refers to the tornado which struck Cambridge and Leamington New Zealand on 17/10/2008.

Lost roof and collapsed ceiling in Burns Street across from the Cambridge Tavern which also sustained damage.

For the record 06 11 2008 This is Jacqui Kilburn in her Burns Street home (ref. Cambridge Edition 22/10/08). I see a brand new roof on the house today.

Some thoughts at 21:49
Of an event so profound and so close to home I spent just a little over 30 minutes taking photographs. This may seem surprising given my propensity to make images day in and day out. A lot of images have been made by others and I trust these, still and moving, will be collected together in a permanent record.

Today was a busy one for me and I had to tear myself away. I am not a reporter I am documenting my time and place and the few images here are as much my experience of what occured as it is of those who allowed me to photograph them.

The tornado hit at about 3AM. When I woke at 4 I realised the power was off and it seemed very dark. I first heard about the tornado some time after 6:30 from the radio. The tornado passed by some 1.5KM away from my house.

I can’t say I didn’t want to get back out and take more photos but this was not possible.

No doubt it fell to someone to see the big picture, to coordinate what needed to be done, but it is surprisingly disconcerting even in a community of some 16,000 persons, a small town, not to be able to appreciate the full extent of what has occured.

Oh and one little niggle. I saw Leamington refered to as a suburb of Cambridge. Well, we don’t do suburbs around here – yet. Leamington is one half of Cambridge – for convenience most of us will say Leamington is a part of Cambridge – which it is – but it is also uniquely different in both history and character.

Besides there is a large river niftily seperating the two.

Edited 11:45 9/11/2008: One sentence that didn’t make sense.

Published by Michael Jeans

+64 27 496 3802 Cambridge New Zealand

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