Greymouth businesses count cost of storm

Greymouth businessman Lance Topliss is ruing the third storm to damage to his Tainui Street premises.

"Previously I have had windows blown out and lost the roller door, but there is untold damage this time," Mr Topliss said of his business, Lance Topliss Auto Electricians.

His was one of two commercial premises left uninhabitable by the Cyclone Ita windstorm on Thursday, the other being R and N Traders.

"I was in the building (at the time) and at first the front window blew in, but when three sections of iron blew off the roof it was time to go," Mr Topliss said today.

He and staff returned on Good Friday to gather up the stock, and he is now awaiting a visit from the insurance assessor before deciding where he will trade while repairs are made.

"I will set up a temporary location in Greymouth but at the end of the day I want to be back in this building, all going well," Mr Topliss said.

R and N Traders owner Kevin Frewin said it was too early to say what the future held for his Boundary Street premises and business operation.

On Friday, a team of volunteers helped clean out the entire store after the roof was torn off during the windstorm.

"At present we have what stock we could save in storage at New Zealand Safety, but things are in a real shambles. We were lucky we had a lot of help from people," Mr Frewin said.

"At this stage I'm unsure. We can't trade from where we have our stock, but it is only when the insurance assessors check out the old building that we will have some idea.

"We had not long left when the wind hit, but I went back to check and the back door was blown in and the roof had gone. I got out of the wagon and the wind was blowing that hard I had to hang on to the building - it was terrifying."

- By Paul McBride of the Greymouth Star

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