Although business places throughout south Trinidad opened their doors as normal yesterday, there was a low turnout of customers. Port of Spain was the same. There were also reports of some employees being absent.
High Street, San Fernando, which is usually busy on Mondays, was clear, as there was little pedestrian and vehicular traffic. A few people were seen sheltering from the rain outside business places. Some said they stayed away from work to offer help to affected families and friends. “I think everyone is scared in south. We were not affected, but from what we saw, it is scary. The rains are still falling. I am home today getting groceries for my friends who lost everything,”said a Princes Town mother of three.
She added, “I am still so hurt by what happened to everyone. It is really sad.”
San Fernando Business Association president Daphne Bartlett said businesses opened as normal but sales were slow. Speaking with Newsday, Bartlett said business owners had anticipated a low turnout.
“Many people on this side of the country were not affected severely, but people didn’t know what the weather was going to be like,” Bartlett said she understood that people needed to be cautious. “You can’t blame anyone. Look what has happened these last few days. People don’t want to be stranded outside.”
In Port of Spain there was a visible absence of people throughout the day along Frederick Street and Independence Square for a Monday, as several roadside vendors were not at their usual posts.
At fast food restaurants like KFC, there was also a marked decrease in activity.
Newsday contacted President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association Gregory Aboud who said he was not in the country and was unaware of any developments over the past 48 hours.