The parish of St Andrew was hard hit by the severe weather event that hit Barbados in the wee hours of Thursday morning, with houses either collapsing or losing their roofs.
Seventy-four-year-old Sebert Scott of Moes Bottom came close to death when the strong winds from the system that passed over the island flattened his house.
When a roving Barbados TODAY visited the area, he was being assisted by community members who helped him secure his possessions.
Scott recounted the terrifying ordeal that left him homeless.
“I just heard the thunder and lightning and I just saw the house moving and the bed was moving and then when the lightning flash you could see, and then it got real dark,” the elderly man said, adding that when the winds picked up, he made a break for it.
“I just tried to crawl out. There was so much rain. I walked down the road by my neighbour and I was knocking on his door and nobody answered so I went up under the cellar and knocked on the floor and then he came up and I managed to spend the night there,” he recalled.
Although grateful for the temporary housing, Scott is now left to wonder where he will lay his head going forward.
“They are giving me some good help and I appreciate it….I don’t know what is going to happen next and I need some assistance real bad. I don’t know what is going to happen but I will put it in God’s hands,” he said.
Despite all that has happened, Scott gave thanks for life.
“God is a good God because I was standing right there and that could have covered me up and I could have been hurt, but God saved me and I thank Him for doing that,” he said. “All of my clothes are in there; it is a mess and I don’t know what will happen on Sunday. I don’t know if I’ll get to church because all of my clothes are all messed up.”
Senator Dr Rommel Springer, who is part of the local District Emergency Organization, was on location to render some aid to Scott.
He told Barbados TODAY: “I got a report this morning around 5 o’clock or so about the house being blown down. I came right away, but on my way here I discovered that there were two other houses – one that the roof was off and another one that was flattened in the Apes Hill area. Mr Scott was trying to secure his personal possessions his clothes and other items.”
Upon seeing the “disaster”, Springer said he assembled some young men to help the elderly man get his affairs in order.
“We had a number of young men from the ashfall programme who were working in there. What we did was we went and got those guys and we deployed them here to assist Mr Scott in not only securing his personal possession but also to secure some of the damaged lumber and other parts of the house. Many of these young men are from this Hillaby area/Farmers/ White Hill community,” he said.
“I reached out to the DEM [Department of Emergency Management] this morning and sent over some pictures of the damage and we have a hurricane shelter just around the corner at the Hillaby Seventh-day Adventist Church so we reached out to the elder just to alert him that we may very well need to activate that particular shelter. I don’t know if it going to come to that or if one of the neighbours will be able to house him for the time being.”
Springer said after surveying the damage in the parish, he believed St Andrew was dealt a serious blow.
“I would describe it as a disaster. I don’t know what the situation is in other parts of Barbados, but I am telling you that St Andrew got hit especially hard….It is really bad up here. I was taken by surprise by the amount of damage that I saw this morning. I heard the thunder and lightning but that is something that I’ve never experienced in my life,” he said. (KB)