Rhianna Mc Kenzie
Heavy showers and strong winds led to severe damage of at least five homes in Morvant on Monday.
Newsday visited Sandy Trace, Morvant on Monday after receiving reports of damage in the area after a full day of bad weather across TT.
An initial report from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) said it had only received a report of a fallen tree in Sandy Trace. However, later reports revealed the damage was far more extensive.
The Met Office issued a yellow-level alert on Sunday, warning of bad weather into Monday evening.
“It happened around 11 am,” said Joyclyn McDonald whose roof had been partially blown off. McDonald recalled hearing the thunderous clatter of galvanise from a neighbour’s house where she was washing clothes.
“If you hear bacchanal. I had to run for my life. I bawl out for my son (who was in the house) but he didn’t hear me. I was frightened to death,” she said.
“(The wind) came in like a raging lion. Talk about noise! You don’t want to be around to hear that.”
She said she has never experienced anything like that in her lifetime living in the area. McDonald said her sister, who suffers with mental-health issues, was particularly shaken by the event.
“She was in her room. She ran outside (but) she can’t see good.”
McDonald said her sister also suffers with other health issues including high blood pressure and diabetes.
“I have to take care of her. I am a pensioner. I would just like to get some wood. If I could get it fixed, I would be good to go.”
Obliquely opposite McDonald, two other neighbours suffered the same fate as their roofs were also damaged by the winds.
Barry Thom said he was not at his house when the incident happened, but was called by a neighbour and told that a part of his roof had blown off.
Thom said he immediately left his job to attend to the situation.
“The breeze could raise up your roof easy like that,” he said, adding this has happened before. “It’s a problem during rainy season.”
Neighbours helped Thom place concrete blocks on other parts of the roof to hold it in place until it is repaired. A tree in his yard was also uprooted during the storm and toppled over in the yard which he shares with a neighbour.
However, the tree, did not cause any damage. Thom and his neighbours quickly cut up the tree and cleared a path in the yard.
“We dealt with that matter as soon as possible because the neighbours were going through the same problem,” he said, adding a coconut tree was uprooted years ago and caused damage to his roof.
Next door to Thom is Jeneen John who was in her bathroom during the incident.
“I am hearing the breeze and praying for it (the roof) not to blow off,” she said.
The breeze also took off a part of her galvanised roof.
“I asked the neighbours for help and (the councillor) called ODPM and they called me, and I was able to collect some tarpaulin. Now I am going to clean up as much as I can.”
Councillor for the St Barb’s/Chinapoo area Joy Benjamin said this is a common occurrence for the area during the rainy season.
“What we do is make a report to the Disaster Management Unit in the corporation. They provide relief with tarpaulin, or sandbags depending on the situation…usually the same day.”
She said the unit would then visit the affected homes and liaise with the relevant ministries, depending on the damage.
With roofs, for example, Benjamin said the Ministry of Community Development will handle that and, for appliances, the Ministry of Social Development will help.
She said the unit will visit the area on Tuesday.