Mickela Panday is one of the most recognisable figures in our national community. Despite our mutual affiliation with the T&T Guardian newspaper, she and I have never met.
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60 homes lose roofs in Central
Tropical Storm Bret left scores of residents in Central in total distress yesterday, as many of them lost almost everything to the raging flood waters that swept through the remote villages of Caparo, Todd’s Road and Mamoral.
Over 60 reports of roofs being either blown off or partially blown off were lodged at the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation’s (CTTRC) Disaster Management Unit.
An electricity pole fell across the road way leading to Mamoral, causing the entire village to be cut off. Commuters accessing Tabaquite were also forced to use alternative routes through Gasparillo and Rio Claro due to fallen trees that blocked off all thoroughfare. Severe flooding was also reported at Ravine Sable and Las Lomas.
In Caparo, appliances, furniture, beds, pets, livestock and crops were washed away, with some items seen floating down the streets.
Up to late last night many of them were engaged in extensive clean-up operations.
Magdeline “Maggie” Brewster, 63, said: “I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.”
Brewster, of Chickland Road, Caparo, has been operating a catering service at her home for the past four years. Yesterday morning, with rising flood waters, Brewster said she looked on helplessly to see her fridges, stoves and foodstuff destroyed.
“I lost three fridges, two stoves and a freezer. I estimate my overall losses to be about $30,000,” Brewster said.
She added that she did a lot of charity catering for churches, neighbours and other people.
“It is the worst experience for me. I was away for 17 years and only returned to T&T seven years ago,” she said.
The Maharajs, from Santa Phillipa Road, Caparo, where flood waters rose to a height of four feet, were also counting their losses.
“We have lost thousands of dollars worth in car parts that we brought in to sell. The entire downstairs of our home destroyed. New appliances we had destroyed with the water. The flood waters came up about three feet high and in no time, from as early as 4 am, the waters began coming up. We tried to salvage things but it all happened quickly,” Deodath Maharaj said.
CTTRC councillor John Lezama (Caparo/Mamoral) visited several areas yesterday and expressed sadness over what he witnessed.
“Until the waters subside there isn’t much we could do. But I am going around assessing the damages and losses of the villagers. So far it is just sad to see people’s homes transformed into ponds and they losing everything,” Lezama said, adding he to suffered from the floods as his office was under water.
CTTRC chairman, Henry Awong said the disaster response machinery kicked in only at an 80 per cent.
“In a disaster we would have liked a 100 per cent but the operations didn’t go as smoothly. Some things definitely have to be reviewed with regards to the readiness but thank God it wasn’t so severe as anticipated,” Awong said.
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