Twister wreaks havoc in Cunupia
By CECILY ASSON Saturday, August 31 2013
click on pic to zoom in
Elioania Campbell holds three-week-old Justin outside her badly damaged house at Jones Terrace, Cunupia, yesterday....
A MOTHER and her three children, including a three-week-old baby boy, narrowly escaped injury when heavy winds, described by those who witnessed it as a twister, swept through parts of Cunupia, ripping off the roofs of several homes and uprooting trees.
The twister was accompanied by heavy rains which caused extensive flooding in the area and parts of Chaguanas. Over 15 houses were damaged, Newsday was told.
Elioania Campbell, 31, of Jones Terrace, Cunupia, told Newsday all she could have done was run into the bedroom and grab baby Justin off the bed and together with her two other children, Kereem, 16 and seven-year-old Latticia, lie on the floor until the “tornado” passed over.
“It could have been worse,” a thankful Campbell said. “We are lucky that only debris fell on us and I thank God that no one was injured.”
There were scenes of destruction in areas such as Church Street, Jones Terrace, Triangle Road and environs, which looked like what one resident called “a war zone”, with houses with no roofs, sheets of galvanize hanging from overhead electrical wires, street lamps smashed on the ground, collapsed fences, flattened trees and debris strewn all over the road.
When Newsday visited, neighbours were busy lending a hand to each other as they tried to do minor repairs to roofs. In almost all the affected homes, household appliances suffered water damage and mattresses were soaked. Thousands of dollars were lost, affected residents said, in what for them was a nightmare.
Campbell, whose two-bedroom home was badly damaged “and is now caving in,” said at about 1 pm she was at home when she heard a whistling sound and, looking through her window, observed a twister.
She said, “We looked at it for a while but then it went to the other side of the house and we heard galvanize being ripped off the roofs of homes on the other side. The twister made a circle and came right back on our side. I ran inside and grabbed Justin off the bed and pull him down on the floor with me and the other children. The wind ripped off my roof. Then the rain started to fall and we got soaked.” Campbell and the rest of her family spent last night at the home of her mother, Loretta Ross, 60, who lives at the back of the Campbells.
Over the years, she said, she has gotten accustomed to flooding in the area but had never experienced a twister.
Another affected resident, Sylvia Raghbir, 69, of Triangle Road, also suffered extensive damage. She told Newsday, “It come so fast. It is the first time in all my years I experience something like this. I tell you my belly still hurting me.”
Minister of Local Government Suruj Rambachan visited the affected households promising to have their homes repaired in quick time. Rambachan told Newsday each household will be evaluated and grants given for repairs.
He added, “I will put in a labour component from the Ministry of Local Government to assist in reconstruction. It is a sad situation. It looks like it was a little twister. Rest assured that we are handling the matter.”
Meanwhile at Cacandee Road and Ackbar Trace, Jerningham Junction in Chaguanas, residences and businesses were flooded out by the heavy rains. Among those affected was Poui’s Group Ltd, an embroidery company.
Company director Nikita Sookdeo told Newsday it was the third time they had experienced “bad flooding.” It took them two years to fully recover.