Sharon White stood gripping her youngest son as tornadoes ripped through her neighbourhood with such force that windows smashed around her and the children's trampoline was flung through her lounge window.
PHOTOS: Deadly tornado hits Auckland
Three tornadoes hit the west Auckland suburb of Hobsonville just after midday on Thursday, with one touching ground and killing three people, injuring seven others and leaving hundreds displaced.
Ms White, 38, who lives on Hobsonville Road near where three died after a concrete slab came down on a construction site, had just returned home from collecting her son from kindergarten when the tornadoes hit.
"It all went really dark... then there was so much wind and rain," she said.
"The whole house was rattling."
Ms White says she wasn't sure how to react so she stood her in lounge gripping her son Bradley, aged three.
"You just don't know what to do in these situations. It was crazy. I don't know why I stood in the lounge because there are so many windows."
She then heard a loud crash as her children's trampoline was picked up by the wind and smashed through a nearby window.
Other windows were smashed by flying debris and pot plants and small trees in her garden were toppled.
"It felt like it went on for hours and then it was all over."
After the tornadoes subsided her thoughts turned to her other children, Olivia, 10, and Charlotte, 8, who attend nearby Whenuapai School.
"Thankfully they were all okay and just spent the afternoon watching movies," she said.
Power has been cut to about 1300 properties including Ms White's home.
She had yet to decide whether her family would join the hundreds of others who had been displaced by the tornadoes and head to Whenuapai Air Base.
"We just don't know what we're going to do. I just can't believe this has happened."