Wind rips off roofs in south Trinidad
Laurel V Williams
Residents of La Brea came to the rescue on Thursday afternoon when bad weather damaged homes in the area and ripped off several roofs.
An affected resident, Esther Avian James, 40, of Queen Street, praised neighbors for their quick response. She lives with her two adult children, 19 and 21. She and her children were at home when it happened.
James said without warning that she heard a cracking sound and saw the whole roof of the flat concrete house flying. It landed at the back of the house in a mangrove a few feet away.
“A lot of people came to help. It’s the quickest response I see when something happens here. They pulled us through. In the rain, the young guys went into the mangroves for it. The older heads also came out and helped,” James said Friday.
“I can’t explain what went through my mind when it happened. It was so surreal. About ten minutes earlier I finished cooking and put bread in the oven.”
The cracking of the roof also caused several stones to crumble, hitting and injuring her 21-year-old daughter.
“A nurse came to her. She’s fine.’
Anders: “Besides getting everything soaked, I have to throw out the closets and a bed. They were too damaged to repair,” James said.
James is unemployed and previously worked in a supermarket. A nurse came and took care of her.
Nearby, high winds destroyed Catherine George’s wooden house.
She lives with her daughter and two grandchildren. No one was home when the roof flew off and the walls collapsed.
Newsday spoke briefly with George, who said she spent the night at her “spiritual mother” house.
Local residents warned her and when she reached the house, it was already destroyed.
Officials, including councilors Gerald Debesette and Javed Mohammed of the Siparia Regional Corporation, visited the bereaved families. They helped with immediate relief, such as providing mattresses.
There were reports that other homes were damaged by what residents called an “extraordinary storm.”
On Thursday afternoon, the Met Office announced that TT was under an adverse weather warning at yellow level. At 2 p.m. Friday, the alarm was stopped and went to the green level.
Several other families in southern Trinidad were affected by the bad weather.
On Sand Pitt Road, Quarry Village in Siparia, construction worker Christopher Bhola told Newsday that his plywood house was beyond repair.
Bhola lives with his two sons, ages eight and seven, but there was no one in the two-room house when it was hit on Thursday afternoon. There were no reports of injuries.
“I got a call that the roof had been blown off. The back of the house was completely damaged. My relatives took as much stuff out of the house as possible,” Bhola said.
“It doesn’t even make sense to even put up a tarp at this point because the back is completely separated from the front.”
Bhola estimated the cost of the damage at more than $25,000.
Councilor Jason Ali, of the SRC, met with the Bhola family on Friday to offer assistance.