Just when Barbados thought it would emerge fully unscathed from Hurricane Irma, which was today approaching the Leeward Islands with a vengeance, at least one local homeowner was made to taste the fury of the monster storm.
While the majority of the island was spared the brunt of the system, 68-year-old Patsy Trotman of St David’s Village, Christ Church fell victim to the howling winds, associated with the category five hurricane, that ripped off the roof of her two-bedroom wooden house around nine o’clock this morning.
The more than 50-year-old dwelling, which was occupied by Trotman and her 27-year-old autistic nephew, had stood up to the onslaught of Tropical Storm Harvey last month.
However, Irma’s strong winds proved too much for the galvanize roof protecting the wooden structure to bear.
When Barbados TODAY arrived at the scene, the pensioner was visibly shaken by the incident. Surrounded by her family members who live next door, the diabetic complained of headaches and indicated that her blood pressure had spiked after she received the news that her roof had been ripped off by the powerful storm.
Her daughter Betty Trotman, speaking on her mother’s behalf, said the entire family was rattled by the development.
“When I first came, my mum was really distraught. She was crying, nothing we said could get my mum to stop crying,” the daughter said, pointing out that “nobody wants to be in a condition like this in 2017.
“It is really hard on my mum because she is a pensioner, and she is also a diabetic, so we need to be really careful with my mum,” she added.
Fortunately, none of the occupants was home when the roof was blown off by the high winds.
However, while expressing concern that her family was not in a position financially to carry out the needed repairs, she said both victims would be accommodated next door, at her mother’s oldest daughter, for the time being.
With that being said, Chairman of the National Assistance Board David Durant said that given the number of cases of elderly persons in need of assistance, a task force was desperately needed to address the issue.
“This is just another one and there are a number of others, so definitely we need a task force that will specifically deal with this,” said Durant who was on hand today to witness Trotman’s plight.
While promising to help the family and seek assistance from the Urban Development Commission, he stressed that the homes of many elderly persons simply could not withstand a potentially catastrophic weather system.
“We really need a task force to look into it, if not we might find someone who may be seriously injured at some point in time and we don’t want that to happen,” he said. [email protected]