St Thomas residents fear winds
MORANT BAY, St Thomas:
RESIDENTS OF Morant and Bamboo River in St Thomas yesterday took no chances as they battened down their houses ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Tomas.
When The Gleaner visited the community yesterday, loud knocking and banging were signs that the residents were taking the storm threat seriously.
A large majority of the houses in the community are constructed from board and zinc. The residents say they were mostly concerned about the winds because of the frailty of their houses.
A resident who gave her name as Ms Miller said she had packed her necessary belongings and was ready to leave if the need arose.
Miller lives in a two-bedroom house with her partner and three children. She was strapping down and doing some repair work yesterday.
"I am going to send the children over to my family in Red Hills later on," she said. "The houses over there are slab roof, and me and Lez (her partner) will stay here and if we have to leave ... then we will see, but at least we won't have to worry about running with the children."
Meanwhile, Lenroy Dennis of Bamboo River was busy trying to put up a tarpaulin to keep water off his veranda yesterday.
Claudette Martin, a self-employed single mother, was doing her own repair work and battening down all her windows. She said she had tightened the rope she had used to tie down the wooden structure to its concrete base during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Martin told The Gleaner that she sent some of the children to stay with relatives in safer communities.
The Morant, Springfield and Bamboo River communities are threatened by the Morant River whenever there is any heavy rainfall. However, the community of Morant is usually worst affected.