Barrackpore after Bret: $millions in damage

(Trinidad Express) The full scale of the damage left in the wake of Tropical Storm Bret  is only now becoming apparent.

No serious injuries were reported, the Express was told, but damage to property can total millions of dollars.

This is an image taken from drone footage shot by Barrackpore resident Alvin Birbal

Many homes remain without power, as trees uprooted by high winds brought down electricity lines in areas across the country.

Hard-hit areas in south Trinidad were found to be in Lower Barrackpore and other areas in the Penal/Debe and Siparia regional corporations.

Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein toured the affected areas on Tuesday, where many roads were claimed by the rising flood waters.

He said families were marooned at Lower Barrackpore, as flood waters rose for almost four metres outside their homes.

The residents were unable to leave their homes to access the nearby emergency shelter.

Hosein said his team was unable to reach the residents and called for a dinghy to assist in getting the residents out of the flooded houses.

He said a large tree was uprooted by the high-winds and fell across Penal Rock Road, Penal, making the area impassable.

“We could not get to the residents there because the tree fell across the road. T&TEC was called in to assist with the removal of that tree. Then we would be able to go in and assess the damages and help residents there,” he said.

Hosein said 20 roofs were blown off in the Penal/Debe area. Those houses were flooded causing damage to appliances and furniture.

“People are marooned in their homes at this time. They are unable to get out because of the high flood waters. I spoke with the Minister of National Security and we are trying to get a dinghy to come down to assist us. We have shelters available for the people,  but it is difficult for them to get out,” he said.

Office of Disaster Prepared-ness and Management (ODPM) officers have distributed mattresses, foodstuff and water to the residents.

Hosein said regional corporation workers were also on site, clearing water ways and assisting residents to clean their homes.

Hosein also toured Siparia, where several roofs were ripped off and homes were flooded.

He assured the residents that the Ministries of Social Development and Community Development would move in to provide assistance.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar held a meeting at the Siparia Regional Corpora-tion before touring some of the areas affected by flooding.

She was accompanied by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal and other members of parliament.

Sipara chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh said several roofs were blown off in Cedros, Fyzabad and San Francique.

He said areas in Cedros and San Francique were without an electricity supply up until midday.

Ramadharsingh said there were no reported injuries and corporation workers were out on the field monitoring the situation.

He said no emergency shelters were activated as affected residents chose to stay at the homes of neighbours and relatives.

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