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Storm wrecks central homes

Families watch helpless as...
Monday, July 14, 2014
Premnath Sing of Soomai Trace, Cap-de-Ville stands in his house after the roof was blown off on Thursday night. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL

The sound of heavy rain pounding on his roof and strong winds awoke Gary Elligon from his sleep and he watched helplessly as the storm blew out a part of the roof of his Flannigin Town house and knocked boards from the walls. Several miles away at Todd’s Road, 62-year-old Catherine Rosal endured a night of horror after a significant portion of her roof blew off during the rainstorm. Rosal wept as she watched her bed, wardrobe and clothes being soaked by rain beating into the house through the open roof.


Elligon, a 43-year-old labourer, said in an interview he was asleep around 3 am Friday when the sound of rain pounding heavily on the roof of his wooden house on Mamoral Road awoke him. “The rain came into the house and wet the couch and other things,” he said, trying to appear calm. He said he has not estimated the cost of the damage but would appreciate assistance to construct one room in a house he started building.


“I already put down the foundation. It would not make sense to spend money to repair the board house. “If I get a little assistance, me and my family can stay in the room until I finish my house.” A team from the corporation’s disaster unit journeyed up to the remote rural area of Mamoral Road in the Central Range, and to Todd’s Road, with mattresses, food supplies and tarpaulins to bring temporary relief to Elligon and Rosal.


Rosal’s son-in-law Rudy Ramdial said she has been living with her 26-year old son in their wooden house after her husband died. Ramdial said neighbours came to her rescue at daybreak and nailed back the galvanise and put concrete blocks on it to keep it down. Chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/ Talparo Regional Corporation Henry Awong said the corporation would get different ministries and agencies involved to assist Elligon in constructing a room and helping Rosal build a roof.


“There is the Social Development Ministry with the home repairs grant and there’s the National Commission for Self Help.” The Chaguanas Borough Corporation got no reports of damaged houses in the area, the Guardian was told. Heavy rains with gusty winds began on Thursday afternoon after a prolonged period of general dryness. There were reports of the roofs of several houses in the south being blown off. Tobago reported some damage, as well.


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