Tropical wave rips up roofs in Trinidad

(Trinidad Guardian) More than 100 roofs were damaged in central Trinidad after a tropical wave passed through Thursday night.

Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) Chairman Henry Awong said yesterday that the CTTRC has received 66 reports of damaged roofs, 14 reports of trees falling on houses and eight reports of trees falling on roads.

Awong said Las Lomas was the worst affected area, with more than 20 reports of roof damage.

He called on residents to make sure their roofs were fitted with hurricane belts or bolted down properly.

Awong said the CTRRC will work with the relevant authorities to provide assistance to the affected people and assist with tarpaulins, mattresses and food aid where necessary.

Awong also called on the National Commission for Self Help Limited to act quickly with grants and set up a proactive program for people with compromised roofs to get them repaired.

“A proactive approach would save the country millions of dollars in the long run. We would work around the clock to provide assistance to those suffering from the high winds,” Awong said.

Chaguanas Mayor Faaiq Mohammed, meanwhile, said he had 41 reports of damaged roofs and 14 of falling trees, including trees that fell on houses and the highway.

Mohammed said the Chaguanas Borough Corporation (CBC) and its disaster management unit were working with the fire service and other authorities to remove fallen trees and help people with tarpaulins, mattresses and food aid.

“This morning I visited the home of Beena Dolliesingh, from Endeavour, who is in her 70s. She narrowly escaped death when a tree fell on the roof above her bedroom. The CBC helped remove the tree and cover the roof with a tarpaulin. Those in need of assistance can call the DMU at 800-3222.”

In Felicity, popular bar owner Shanti “Shanti Duck” Kalpath, 60, of Maha Sabha Street, suffered a damaged roof. Kalpath said she heard a thumping and whooshing sound around midnight and parts of her roof swept with high winds and fell on top of a pickup truck owned by her neighbor Natalie Pakheera.

Pakheera said the galvanized sheets also fell on her dog, breaking her internet and electricity connections. She said she also has no water because an electric pump was used to circulate the water in the house.

In Cunupia, residents braved the rain and repaired their own roofing.

On Sesame Street, Las Lomas, Affiya Nicholas and her family of five suffered a damaged roof.

She said no help had been received from the CTTRC until noon and the family had to fund their own repairs.

Nicholas said they were surprised to hear loud bangs around midnight. Heavy afternoon showers yesterday also made repairs difficult for residents.

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