Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2017 Contents A14 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 22, 2017
for sparing city
blown off in
Sarabjit and Linda Singh were yesterday appealing for
help after Tropical Storm Bret ripped off the roof from their
wooden and concrete home at Maharaj Drive, Granville,
on Monday night.
The Singh's said they are a poor family and cannot afford to
replace their losses.
The Singh's were among 11 families in the Cedros, Granville
and Point Fortin areas, whose lives were turned upside down
when the roofs of their respective homes were ripped off their
structures as Bret passed through the island between Monday
night and Tuesday morning.
Thousands of residents were affected by blown off roofs, fallen
trees, rising flood waters and power outages. However, there
were no casualties or injuries.
Up until yesterday, the familieswere kept busytrying to salvage
waterlogged clothing, mattresses, books and household appli-
Giving an account of their frightening experience, Linda ex-
plained that she and her husband and their two children were
asleep shortly before 11 pm on Monday when a strong
gust of wind ripped the roof off.
With no place to run from the heavy downpour,
which accompanied the strong winds, the Singh's
rushed to the bedrooms where their 11 and 12- year-
old children were asleep, to take them to a place of
safety under their house. There they remained wet
and huddled until Tuesday morning when they sought
help through their councillor, Shankar Teelucksingh.
"The breeze was blowing very hard and the rain was falling
fast, fast. We were on the bed sleeping when the roof blow off.
We did not get a chance to save anything. All our clothes,
children's school books, bed, mattress, couch, dining
table, every thing got soaked. The television and other
"Everything happened so fast, the back door and
the duck pen broke down, we were real frightened.
For my children, this was the first time they ever
experienced anything like this and they wanted to
go out side because it was fun to them. But it real
mash we up," Linda said.
She said, "My husband and I are not rich people. We
don't have no permanent work, We do garden work,
We work hard to own everything we have and for us to
come so far and have to go back and get into installment,
that real hard. We need help," she said.
Her husband, Sarabjit, said Teelucksingh was the only per-
son who visited them and brought a tarpaulin to be used as an
alternative to their roof.
"No body else came. With the help of my wife and children,
we bail out water from the house. Our children cannot go to
school. We under pressure right now," Sarabjit said.
Teelucksingh said the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) from
the Siparia Regional Corporation was scheduled to visit, assess the
situation and try to access help for the families through Self Help.
In Point Fortin, mayor Abdon Mason said, "Eight roofs were
blown off, two in Salick Grace, Guapo, two in New Village, one
in Warden Road and the other three between Fanny Village and
Cap-de-Ville. Between 25-40 people were directly affected."
Mason said they visited all the distressed families and have
putmechanisms in place to replace roofs, help with water logged
items and see what State amenities are available to offerthem. "
Mason also reported flooding at Seven and Tenth Street ex-
tension at Techier Village as well as in Herenix Street, Cochrane.
"Because of the swampy nature of the area and because peo-
ple built in these areas, the water rose to frightening levels in
Techier. In the Cochrane area, there was some flooding caused by
blockages due to the work being done on the highway extension
to Point Fortin. We will have to engage the Ministry of Works to
assist in clearing this blockage," Mason said.
San Fernando mayor Junia Re-
grello thanked God for sparing the
City from any major disaster caused
by Tropical Storm Bret.
Bret did not spare San Fernando when
it rummaged through the island late
Monday night into Tuesday morning,
but its path of destruction was not as
savage as the havoc caused in the eastern
part of the country.
Monday night's rains triggered a
landslip at the base of San Fernan-
do Hill, near Marryat Street, bring-
ing down parts of a wall securing a
restaurant run by the Catholic Church.
Over in Green Acres, the Cipero River
broke its bank, flooding homes along
its path with flood waters which rose
to about 18 feet, Regrello said. In Mar-
abella, homes were also flooded
out as the Guaracara River also
broke its banks. But by early
morning the water had sub-
sided and home owners had
already begun to clean up
Several roofs were blown
off and there were reports
of trees being uprooted,
including one which fell on
the roof of the Seukeran
Streethomeowned by Attorney
General Faris Al-Rawi's mother,
Another massive hog plum tree,
which was located on State land at Ci-
pero Road, also fell damaging approxi-
mately 20 feet of a privately owned wall.
Salim Gool, who lives close to where the
tree fell, said he contacted the Disaster
Management Unit of the San Fernando
City Corporation for assistance, but by
late evening there was no response.
Both Regrello and Al-Rawi, who is
also the Member of Parliament for
San Fernando West, toured some of
the affected areas on Tuesday morning.
"Fortunately for us, at the end of the
day, nothing major happened and we
must thank God for that. We went on a
fact finding missionand got a first hand
view of some of the issues that normally
come to us in paper form."
He said he was very concerned about
the Cipero River which had not been
properly cleaned for the past five years
and from which trees had begun grow-
ing. An accumulation of debris also
contributed tothe bursting of the banks.
Regrello said the time has come to
revisit the engineering of some of these
water courses so the problems would
not recur. (YW)
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