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The fury of Tomas

Carol Martindale

The fury of Tomas

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Barbadians woke up this morning to the damage and destruction brought by Tropical Storm Tomas, which was later upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, wreaking havoc all across this country last night and into the early hours of today.
All across the island there were reports of the fury of Tomas who was busy blowing off roof tops, uprooting poles and large trees, and lifting galvanise and swirling them in the air.
But it was no fun for Barbadians who were huddled indoors praying for the safety of themselves and others and protecting their properties against this force of nature.
Most people calling in to report on the conditions in their areas, spoke of strong gusty winds, and heavy and consistent rain which caused some flooding. Some even put the phone close to the window so the person on the other end could hear the howling winds.
A number of areas across the island are also without power, and some phone lines were down.
The following are some some of the reports reaching the Nation on the trail of Tomas’ damage.
• A house in Villa Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael collapsed on a woman who is eight months pregnant. She was taken to the hospital.
• A plum tree fell and flattened a house in Lower Carlton, St James.
• Strong gusty winds also flattened the Christ is the Answer Church in Battaley’s, St Peter.
• In Christ Church, near St Lawrence Gap, high winds and rain  are causing some palings and gutters to give.
• Some residents in South District, report that their roof tops are off, as well as some of those in some parts of St Lucy.
• Roads are impassable in Dunscombe, St Thomas as a result of fallen trees.
Last night Barbados was placed on a hurricane warning and just after midnight there was a national shutdown order issued by Judy Thomas, director of the Department of Emergency Management. Barbadians were instructed to be indoors by 12:30 a.m.
Thomas said this order was necessary as conditions were expected to worsen.
An 11 a.m. bulletin from the Barbados Meterological Services today stated that Tomas continues to move toward the West-North West at near 15 miles per hour and this motion was expected to cotinue for at least another 12 to 24 hours.
“Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 miles per hour with higher gusts making Tomas a Category 1 hurricane. further strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 48 hours” stated the bulletin. Met officials said that with the center of the system moving further away from Barbados, a gradual improvement and a decrease in the sustained wind speeds can be expected. “However, rain bands into Tomas will continue to spread pockets of moderate to heavy showers accompanied by wind gusts to Tropical Storm strength across the island for another to to four hours”.
Barbadians are urged to continue to exercise care and caution.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is expected to meet with the Press at 1:30 p.m.

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