Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 3rd 2014 Contents ANNA-LISA PAUL
Residents living within the precincts of the
Diego Martin, Petit Valley, Tunapuna/Piarco
and Sangre Grande regional corporations were
among the hardest hit by yesterday s weak
tropical wave, which left close to 25 homes
without roofs and many more without an elec-
tricity supply for hours.
But officials of the Met Office at Piarco
explained yesterday that the wave, which was
accompanied by strong low level winds that
brought heavy showers, thundershowers and
gusty winds, was a "normal rainy season feature."
Officials said because the wave was coupled
with the "relatively strong winds in the lower
levels of the atmosphere," it created what many
of the affected people claimed was a freak storm.
Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Cor-
poration Terry Rondon said ten homeowners
along Quarry Road and Tattoo Trace, Valencia,
lost the roofs to their home when the strong
winds hit their community.
The unfortunate incidents occurred shortly
after 3 am yesterday, following the start of the
Contacted while out assessing the damage,
Rondon praised the corporation s Disaster Man-
agement Unit (DMU) for its efforts to assist
Rondon said Tamasine Williams, 70, of Quarry
Road, Valencia, was the hardest hit in his area.
He said her entire roof was blown off and her
personal belongings, furniture, groceries and
other items were destroyed after being drenched
by the pouring rain.
Saying DMU officers had been out before 5
am, Rondon said affected residents were provided
with tarpaulins and mattresses within a reasonable
Officials from the National Commission for
Self Help also accompanied corporation officials
on visits to affected residents, providing them
with advice on how they could access financing
to replace their roofs.
CEPEP crews were also out assisting residents
to clean up and at Williams s home the crews
assisted with dismantling the roof and placing
tarpaulin to the home s outer walls.
Rondon said there were no reports of flooding
or power outages in his district.
Saying he had never experienced "something
like this," Rondon surmised that it was probably
a tornado, as welded iron fittings were uprooted
and destroyed in some areas.
In the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation
area, chairman Edwin Gooding assured they had
dealt with all the calls for help by 2 pm.
This included homes which lost roofs in Pinto,
Arima; El Dorado, Tunapuna and Maracas Valley,
However, he said their last call came around
2.30 pm from a resident in Aripo and a crew
from the DMU was dispatched to assess the
damage and render assistance.
Gooding said they were also distributing tar-
paulins and mattresses to affected residents,
while Self-Help officials were carrying out assess-
ment and advising residents on available funding
to aid with rebuilding efforts.
In the Blanchisseusse area, where several trees
had fallen across the roadway, Gooding said res-
idents themselves had assisted with cutting and
removing the debris.
Although no one in his district experienced
power cuts, Gooding said the supply had to be
temporarily turned off in Maracas Valley so work-
ers could remove a roof which had blown off
and landed on electricity lines connected to the
Gooding said the temporary disruption affected
several other homes on the street, as they were
unable to effect repairs until the power supply
was disconnected. The work was completed by
2.30 pm yesterday and the supply was turned
Happy to report that there was no flooding
in his region, Gooding attributed that to previous
work done to clear drains and ravines in the area.
Unlike his counterparts in Sangre Grande and
Tunapuna/Piarco, Diego Martin Regional Cor-
poration chairman Daryl Smith said his area was
"hit real bad."
Up to 3 pm yesterday, Smith said work was
still being done to assist affected residents as
they too distributed tarpaulins and mattresses.
Smith said nine homes in Cocorite reported
their roofs being blown off; while there were two
reports from Sea View Hill, Carenage; three from
La Horquette Valley Road, Glencoe and one from
Mercer Road, Diego Martin.
Admitting that power outages had also left
many residents in Maraval, Petit Valley, Carenage
and Diego Martin without a supply, Smith said
work was set to continue into last night to rectify
Praising Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Com-
mission (T&TEC) work crews for their efforts to
restore power, Smith said Fire Services officers
also assisted in cutting and removing fallen trees.
Also working with the Self-Help officials who
visited the affected residents, Smith said he was
heartened that there had been no flooding.
"We are hoping that weather system has passed
and is now behind us. We are working together
now to get people safe, secure and comfortable
once again," Smith said.
Friday, October 3, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Cepep workers assist in the retrieval of a roof which was blown off the home of Valencia
resident Stuart Maloney yesterday after strong winds associated with the passage of a
tropical wave swept through the community. PHOTO: MARVIN ARNEAUD
More gusty winds and thunderstorms
have been predicted for today, says mete-
orologist Saide Shakeer.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Shakeer
said yesterday s bad weather, which uprooted
trees and tore roofs off houses, was part of
a thunderstorm caused by a weak tropical
wave passing over the Lesser Antilles.
The rainfall and strong winds came after
one of the hottest days for the year on
Wednesday which was just over 34 degrees
The country s record high temperature is
just over 37 degrees celsius.
Shakeer said there had been a wind surge
over the country for some time, which meant
there was an increase in lower level winds
(under 10,000 feet) in the atmosphere.
She said the country experienced down-
drafts of winds from thundershowers yes-
terday and those two factors resulted in the
bad weather experienced in parts of the coun-
"The thundershowers were from a weak
tropical wave which passed over the islands
this morning (yesterday). We didn t have
severe rainfall. The most significant part of
the weather we experienced was the strong
winds," Shakeer said.
Yesterday s winds measured 37 mph at
Piarco though Shakeer said it could have
been higher in other parts of the country.
She said the tropical wave was a normal
rainy season feature which the country expe-
"Because the wind surge is still over us,
we expect the same type of weather tonight
(last night) into tomorrow (today)."
Met office: More bad weather coming today
'Freak' storm hits East-West Corridor
25 homes lose roofs In a release issued around 3 pm yesterday,
T&TEC assured that the electricity supply
was restored to over 70 per cent of
customers who were affected by
Wednesday's heavy rains and gusty winds.
T&TEC corporate communications
manager, Annabelle Brasnell, said customers
along the East-West Corridor suffered
outages after fallen trees damaged power
lines and poles.
She said emergency response crews began
working to restore power early yesterday
and had effected repairs in Arima, Valsayn,
Curepe, Cascade, St Joseph, Carapo, Valencia,
Sangre Grande, Lady Young Road, Maraval
Work was still continuing in isolated areas,
including parts of Woodbrook, Long Circular
and Petit Valley, she added.
T&TEC has introduced two additional
emergency contact numbers for customers,
who can now report any problems with their
supply by contacting 794-4823, 794-7264
and 800-TTEC (8832).
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