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Wet and windy

by Trevor Yearwood

Wet and windy

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HOUSETOPS blew off, trees were uprooted, and motorists forced to abandon vehicles in rising water.
Homeowners and businesses also had to cope with severe flooding as nightmarish weather gripped Barbados last Sunday night and again yesterday.
Tornado-like winds tore the roofs off three houses in Arch Hall, St Thomas and another two in St David’s and Kingsland, Christ Church.
In Weston, St James, one family had to flee after looking out the window and seeing a wall of water four feet high water rushing down the hill towards the house.
Some Weston residents woke yesterday to find an impassable road, with debris stacked nearly two feet high, a road that had broken away, and homes that had felt the fury of the rushing water.
Director of the Department of Emergency Management Judy Thomas, said “a lot of cars were flooded out and had to be abandoned in roadways”last Sunday night.
In a morning radio report, Thomas said: “Water is very much surrounding people’s homes (so) that they cannot get out.”
Some people who had left their homes could not get back in either, she noted.
In Bath, St John, British tourists, Ross and Sarah Jordan, were trapped on the beach by boulders. They were rescued with help from  the Ministry of Transport and Works.
 Holetown was among the areas hardest hit by flooding. Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin said five patrol cars at the station there were damaged.
The station was waterlogged and hit by “a significant amount of debris”, he reported.
Businesses in the area complained of flooding and a lot of mud on their floors.
One of the most dramatic scenes of the drenching was Bridge Gap, St Michael, where racing flood waters propelled a huge container,  damaging telephone lines and narrowly missing two houses before coming to an abrupt halt on Goodland Main Road.
In the nearby Brandons community, RG Plumbing, hired by the constituency office of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, pumped more than 20 000 gallons of water from backyards.
Problems triggered by the bad weather also forced the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to temporarily close the Bowmanston, Golden Ridge and Hanson Hill reservoirs, leading to a lack of water in those communities.
Minister of the Environment, Water Resource and Drainage, Dr Denis Lowe, explained that the shutoff was done to prevent discoloured water from going into the reservoirs.
He also reported that underground soil movement had damaged old water mains.
Met officials say today will be partly cloudy to cloudy with some scattered showers.