As heavy rain and high winds battered Tobago on Thursday night, Ruby Solomon, 72, clutched her grandchildren and watched in horror as the roof of her Mt St George home was ripped off.
Solomon’s home was one of several houses damaged by high winds during the passage of a topical wave.
The elderly woman said she could not recall how long ago she had constructed the house, as she has been working on it for years.
She said the sound of the wind woke her on Thursday night.
“I was sleeping and when I hear the first big knocking, I get up. Around 11 o’clock, the high wind start and the rain and it just took everything up, wet up everything inside the house,” Solomon said.
She said 12 people live in her home and everyone was equally terrified when the roof was blown off.
“Everybody was running and scrounging up together and then we went downstairs, and I was going outside to stand up and brakes from the tree and then my other daughter tell me ‘mammy don’t stand up there, let we come downstairs’ and that is where we stay until this morning,” Solomon said.
The tree she was referring to towers over her house. Solomon said it was the tree her mind went to when she heard the wind initially.
She said she made a request to T&TEC to cut the tree but has since been put on a waiting list.
Solomon sent out an appeal for assistance, as she said the roof was not her only loss.
“Everything wet up inside—the three rooms soak up, all the furniture wet and clothes everything, it don’t have nothing inside the house that ain’t wet.”
By yesterday morning, neighbours had brought a large tarpaulin and positioned it over the house.
But with rain and high winds forecasted until tonight, Solomon said she was desperate to put a new roof on the house.
“I really need help to put back a roof and for some furniture, I don’t know what (appliances) working from what not working,” she lamented.
Anyone wishing to assist Solomon can contact her 291-5155.
Meanwhile, the heavy rains and high winds also damaged tents set up for COVID patients at the Scarborough Hospital.
Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) director Allan Stewart said several roofs were also blown off in east Tobago.
Stewart said several trees also fell along the Claude Noel Highway during the weather event.
“Those were attended to immediately by the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service and also Community Emergency Response Team.”
He said TEMA also received a report that a tree fell on a small shop in Richmond. He warned Tobagonians to be on the alert for more bad weather throughout the today.
“We anticipate additional rainfall, we anticipate additional fallen trees, there is a possibility of land slippage. I want to take this opportunity to warn our residents to examine their property at this time and if they have any reports, they can send it to 211,” he said.