Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
HARD-HIT by Hurricane Sandy, Donna Richards, mother of five children, is struggling to pick up the pieces after her Manchioneal home was flattened by the Category One disaster, leaving her homeless.
Saddened by the untimely destruction of the structure she called home for more than 20 years at San Shore, Richards, before the hurricane last Wednesday, was at peace and was preparing to return to Kingston to purchase peanuts, which is her livelihood.
"Everything is shattered," she commented, tearfully. Richards added: "My five children, my common-law husband and I were at home at the time of the hurricane. We felt the walls shaking, and we quickly headed outside. The next thing we saw was the house tumbling down, and we spent the night at my brother's house."
Among the items damaged were a television set, a DVD player, a gas stove, an electric iron, four beds, two bedside lamps, a radio, and two standing fans.
Since the hurricane, the five children - whose ages range from 12 to 17 years - have been staying with friends and relatives. However, her livelihood as a peanut vendor is severely crippled, as she lost 50lb of peanuts, which were buried under the rubble following the collapse of her four-bedroom board house.
When The Gleaner visited the area, sheets of zinc, boards, furniture and other items were scattered across the lawn; however, a neighbour was busily trying to salvage whatever he could for the woman.
The mother of five, like other residents, is appealing for assistance to rebuild her house, as she is now penniless, and her common-law husband is out of a job.
And when asked whether or not she would be willing to relocate if she was approached by Government, the answer was as a resounding no, as she simply would not move from that spot known to her as home.