After inclement weather, damage estimated at just over $800,000

The Tobago Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC) concluded its emergency response operations on Sunday (October 11, 2015) after providing relief to residents affected by inclement weather in Tobago over the past four days.

The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) responded to a total of 139 incidents by affected residents in Tobago, including 57 reports of damage to residential roofs, 45 fallen trees and 15 cases of structural damage. The public also reported fallen power lines, residential and road landslides, blocked roads and residential floods.

The areas affected include Betsy’s Hope, Black Rock, Delaford, Glamorgan, Hope, Lambeau, Les Coteaux, Mason Hall, Moriah, Patience Hill, Pembroke, Plymouth, Runnemede, Shaw Park, Studley Park, Speyside, Goodwood, Carnbee, Mount Pleasant, Sargeant Cain, Whim and Bagatelle.

TEMA co-ordinated a response involving several agencies, among them the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service and the Division of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (DIPU), along with the Socials Services Unit of the Division of Health and Social Services. The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) are working to restore water and electricity supplies respectively in affected areas.

Teams conducted damage assessment and needs analysis, and TEMA’s preliminary calculations for 50 percent of reports have so far put damages at an estimated cost of $814,248.90.

Following this morning’s (October 12) emergency meeting, TEMA director Allan Stewart reminded the affected residents to not rely solely on the Assembly to repair the damage to their homes.

Stewart said: “The State would have already assisted; for example TEMA would already have carried out its duty in terms of relief, emergency shelters, emergency relief items, in some cases and also foodstuff and accommodation,” Stewart explained.

“DIPU engineers are working assiduously to estimate the cost of the repairs. A report including the estimated cost and material listing would be then forwarded to the Chief Secretary via the Chief Administrator, with recommendations as to which structures are to be rebuilt and what is to be repaired. We will then be advised how that process will take place and if the resources of the Assembly are to be utilised.”

Chief Administrator Raye Sandy, who attended today’s emergency meeting, commended TEMA and the other responders for providing immediate relief to those affected by the inclement weather. Sandy has also urged residents to take responsibility for the security and shelter needs of their families who have been affected by the inclement weather over the last few days.

“The THA will try to assist as best as we can,” Sandy said. “We don’t have the resources to rebuild everybody’s home, but with the limited resources we have, we will try our best to assist.”

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