St Peter suffers the wrath of Harvey

Residents in the northern parish of St Peter are faced with the task of cleaning up and picking up after Tropical Storm Harvey unleashed its wrath across several communities there.

Fallen trees, loose galvanize sheets and  an enormous amount of mud could be seen throughout Speighstown, which was one of the areas worst affected by flooding due to the passage of the storm late last night and into this morning.

When Barbados TODAY visited the area, Goddings Alley, Speighstown residents Lisa Chandler and her nephew Khalique were busy with brooms and buckets draining water from their home.

Lisa Chandler’s home was totally flooded.
Khalique Chandler pouring water out of his aunt’s hair salon which was flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey.

“This morning I hear my neighbour shout and ask, ‘Lisa, you OK?’ I told her, ‘yes, I am good’, but as I step down, I stepped into a whole pool of water, so I shout back. I told her, ‘no, I’m not OK’.

“When I get up and I walked through the house I see the whole place flood. My little salon in the back completely flood out and everything, so I just called my family to help clean out and push off the water.”

The 34-year old Chandler said she was surprised at the amount of water that entered her home, adding that she had never seen this much water during past storms.

“This is the first time I experience so much water. I wasn’t scared, you know, because I didn’t even see that the water was so high. I got up earlier this morning to see how outside look and it wasn’t an issue, but it was a real big surprise.”

Chandler, who operates a hair salon from her home, said the flooding has put a halt on business for the time being.

“The salon was like a small pool. It is going to affect my business. I will have to sanitize the salon before anyone can come in because there is a lot of mud and dirt in there,” she said.

A stone’s throw way the owner of R&B Cool Spot, who gave her name as Rosalind, told Barbados TODAY she too would have to close her business until she can clean up.

Owner of R&B Cool Spot Rosalind.

“So far I got water damage. I don’t know what I will do about the equipment. Tonight I had my steelpan to play and now I have to shut down business. This is an act of God. Nothing I could do right now.”

Over at Gills Terrace, the situation was similar, with several residents experiencing heaving flooding.   

An outspoken Aileen Atherley, who has lived in the neighbourhood her entire life, said flooding was not new to her.

“From the time I came along as a child the flooding was taking place. All the animals use to end up in the sea. For all these years – I born 73 years [ago] – you think that this should still be happening in Speighstown?

“It is a sin and a disgrace on both [political] parties because neither one of the two are doing anything for the people in Speighstown. All they want to do is come and get your vote,” Atherley said of the ruling Democratic Labour Party and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party.

“All of my furniture gone and it’s not to say I didn’t put them up. The water took them down. This same thing happened already. This is happening too long. We have a vote and it has to be counted. Something needs to be done otherwise it will go on and we will suck up and swallow it. But enough is enough.”

She said a blocked canal contributed to the flooding, adding that better maintenance could solve the problem.

Juan Springer, also of  Gills Terrace, agreed the canal needed to be maintained regularly in order to reduce the risk of flooding.

“If the canal is blocked up the amount of water we got, it couldn’t even get all that water out. So, therefore, the water is going to find another route and it is going to flood. It’s nature. There is nothing that we can do,” Springer said.

“Every few years it floods. If the gullies are blocked up it’s going to bring the water a different path. This is one of the worse times.”

BLP candidate for St Peter Colin Jordan, who visited the constituency, said a number of residents were emotionally traumatized by the volume of water which brought back memories of previous floods in 1984 and 2004.

Jordan told Barbados TODAY the residents of St Peter needed help from the authorities.

“These are issues that we need urgent attention and the residents need to be assured that tonight will not be like last night. They need assistance in the clean-up, which they have already started themselves, and after that we need to look at the drainage matter.

“My message is to keep the faith, band together and see it through together. That is why we made the call for authorities to step in as soon as possible,” Jordan said.

Though St Peter was severely affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, St Lucy appeared to have escaped with little more than light flooding and strewn debris on some roads.

4 Responses to St Peter suffers the wrath of Harvey

  1. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams August 19, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Your plight is not a secret. The media makes sure we all are informed. Now all of us including the media, the opportunistic politicians, the Church, the business community and anyone who can help in a great or small way should pitch in. I am ready if a relief program is activated.

    Reply
  2. Ras Small
    Ras Small August 19, 2017 at 9:00 am

    And neglect of OSA for over 20+ years.

    Reply
  3. Yvonne Sealy
    Yvonne Sealy August 19, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    We need to find out where the problem/s lie and start the work; casting blame will help not………more work, less yappinggggg

    Reply
  4. Erica August 20, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I am sadden by the trouble everyone is going through, but we need to band together and start doing for ourselves like someone mentioned.These politicians don’t care about anyone’s unpleasantness. The proof is in the pudding, therefore you must do everything in your power to insure your own happiness. That’s by starting with keeping the areas around your home free of anything that can hinder water from running freely. One person stated that animals being swept into the sea many years ago. Maybe, just maybe, had these animals had two legs someone might be incline to do something.

    Reply

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