The owners of an oceanside lodge on the West Coast narrowly avoided disaster after a surprise waterspout advanced towards their home this afternoon.

Video captured by Awatuna Sunset Lodge co-owner Elizabeth Meaclem shows the dark and towering waterspout thrashing sea water near the Hokitika coast as it rapidly moved in their direction.

“I’m kinda scared but excited,” her 17-year-old grand nephew Caleb could be heard saying in the clip.

Meaclem told 1News she and Caleb were prepping the lodge for guests when the latter spotted a “really neat cloud” sitting on the water.

“We looked out and said ‘that’s a waterspout! That’s a tornado coming straight for our house!'” Meaclem chuckled.

“It was coming across very quickly, I said ‘we need to get inside, we need to close windows, we need to be safe and away from all the glass,’ ’cause [all the windows] in the guestrooms are sea-facing.”

Damage caused by the tornado at Awatuna Sunset Lodge.

To their fortune, the whirlwind instead migrated towards Waimea Creek, just south of the house, causing minimal property damage before finally dissipating.

“It hit the area where we’ve got our guest outdoor patio and furniture, so I just picked up the tables and chairs,” Meaclem shared.

“[It] uprooted a number of trees, went through our water filtration shed … it knocked over the chicken feeder, but luckily it didn’t pick up any chickens!

“We were lucky that it turned just before hitting the house, or it would’ve been a different story.”

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