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Thursday 19 October 2017
Regional

Trinis in Texas prepare for Hurricane Harvey

Bethula Lord (NYLO Intern)

Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall last Friday night on the central Texas coast as a category 4 hurricane, is leaving havoc in its pathway.

Although Harvey weakened overnight into a category 1 hurricane and has since been downgraded further to a tropical storm, it is destroying buildings, ripping off rooftops and creating life-threatening floods putting the lives of many at risk.

Trinidadians with friends and relatives in Texas were greatly concerned for their well being. Gerard Alfred, who was previously a resident of Santa Rosa and is now living in Houston stated, “The downpour here has not had much impact so far.”

Residents there were advised to stay indoors and no one was evacuated as Houston had not experienced a brutal onslaught of the storm.

Alfred said, “I’m waiting to see what happens with the storm but, if it turns, it could be bad for us.” He continued, “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow morning,” but he was hopeful that the storm would pass.

His locally-based family were worried at first but once they spoke to him they felt assured of his safety.

One relative said, “I’m not overly worried because I believe first-world countries, like America, are prepared for such events and I trust my relative to do what is necessary to protect himself.”

Brittany Louis, previously of Malabar, Arima, who lives in Arlington said, “There is currently a state of emergency and people are advised to stay indoors.”But, fortunately, before the storm, her family went back to Trinidad.

St Vincent-born Lorna Thomas, who previously lived in Laventille for more than 20 years, now resides in Houston and was in the midst of Harvey’s downpour when she spoke to Sunday Newsday.

“There is a lot of rain and flooding,” Thomas said. “The rain is the one that is causing the major damage for me, if it continues it will be disastrous.” The expected increase in the amount of rainfall worried both Thomas and her relatives. Houston was bracing itself for more than a foot of rain as the flooding continued to increase yesterday.

Thomas said that her area was not affected as bad as the other cities such as Corpus Christi on the southern side of Texas and expressed deep concern for others in surrounding vicinities.

“There is a highway called highway 95 that had a tornado touch down there and routed out a lot of houses,” she said.

When the storm made its second landfall on the North-eastern Shore of Copano Bay, Thomas’ concern grew, in particular, for a friend of hers who lived in Cypress.

“There was a tornado in Cypress and it struck it real bad. Houses have collapsed. “Thomas said. “A home caught on fire and 33 houses burnt down from that. It’s really serious but I have peace in the middle of the storm.”

Although Harvey left hundreds of thousands along the coast of Texas without electricity, Thomas fortunately received power for the entire duration of the storm.

She said, “I have electricity where I am but in Cypress there are a lot of others without.”

Although Harvey had been reduced to a tropical storm Thomas said it was still bad because of strong winds.

Her niece, Masheica Thomas, said, “We called her last night and she told us that a lot of people moved out so far but she was under her covers and safe.”

The following days of rain were expected to cause catastrophic flooding but the Texas residents were hopeful that it would not occur. Thomas said that many were advised to remain indoors for their safety.

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