Left penniless in the pandemic, widow Shalisha Boodoo felt bereft when gale-force winds ripped off her roof, leaving all her possessions drenched yesterday.
But it was the kindness of her neighbours that kept her going.
Speaking to Guardian Media, Boodoo praised her neighbours for pooling money together and buying tarpaulins for six families who were left without shelter when the blustery winds came during the early hours of yesterday.
“My husband Banoo Ragoobar died 16 years ago and my son Varoon has not been working since the pandemic, so we have no money to fix back this roof. I am very thankful for the villagers who are helping me,” Boodoo said.
While her neighbours hammered away to secure fallen sheets of galvanise from the road, Boodoo said, “Right now I am begging for some help to get material so I can fix back my roof.”
Describing the ordeal, Boodoo said, “When the breeze start to blow I get frightened. I run out the house as the galvanise start to blow away.”
Crumbled sheets of galvanise were scattered on the roadside and Boodoo said her neighbour Indar Parasram, who owns a minimart nearby, had promised some assistance.
Half a mile away, a child, who looked to be no more than 10 years old, stood on top of a roof moving away shredded pieces of plywood. Another man stood on top of the roof while cable wires hung from the roof.
Camilla Hugo shows tarpaulin covering her home after her roof was blown off by high winds associated with the passing tropical wave on Thursday night.
KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Near the Phoenix Park Early Childhood Centre, Camilla Hugo was also in distress. Her entire roof had blown away and landed in her neighbour’s yard.
“It was a scary experience. I never experienced anything like this,” Hugo said.
She said she was fortunate that there was little rain so she and her neighbours were able to secure valuables.
“I packed a few things and stayed by my neighbour for the rest of the night,” Hugo added.
She noted that the experience had left her shaken.
“I was asleep when I heard a powerful wind and then the roof went off. I didn’t know what to think. All I saw was the sky and I say Lord, am I really seeing the sky. I couldn’t believe the roof went,” she recalled.
Anyone wanting to assist Boodoo can call 331-2784.
A total of 88 roofs were blown off and 33 trees toppled by the force of the winds which lashed T&T as Tropical Wave 41 moved across the islands Thursday night into yesterday, according to the Local Government Ministry.
Fallen utility lines were reported at Guapo and a car reportedly caught fire after a lightning strike in Couva. There were multiple reports of fallen trees in the Arima region, in areas such as Tumpuna Road, Calvary and Malabar.
Galvanise is seen on the side of the road after it was blown off by high winds associated with the passing tropical wave at Phoenix Park Road, California.
KRISTIAN DE SILVA
In San Fernando, several trees fell in Pleasantville but the San Fernando City Corporation’s Engineering Unit removed them before midday.
At Princes Town, T&TEC worked to restore electricity at Kumar Village, Williamsville, Piparo Main Road and Manahambre Road, Princes Town, after the winds knocked over utility poles.
In the Southeastern regions of Mayaro and Manzanilla, residents reported seeing coconut trees snapping as terrifying winds swept the region.
A total of eight roofs at Sandsucker Road, La Savanne, New Lands, Eccles Road, Grand Lagoon, Pierreville and Kernahan Village were destroyed.
However, unlike in Central Trinidad, residents of Mayaro did not get much time to secure valuables, as it continued to rain for most of yesterday. Cocal/Mafeking councillor Renelle Kissoon said repairs would start once the rains subsided.
Meanwhile, as heavy rains pummelled the island late yesterday, flash floods were seen at Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay, near the Trinidad Cement Limited headquarters.