La Brea residents came to the rescue on Thursday afternoon when bad weather damaged homes in the area and ripped off several rooftops.
One affected resident, Esther Avian James, 40, of Queen Street, praised the neighbours for the quick response. She lives with her two adult children, 19 and 21. She and her children were at home when it happened.
James said without warning she heard a cracking sound and saw the entire rooftop fly off the flat concrete house. It landed to the back of the house in a mangrove, several feet away.
"A lot of people came to help. It is the fastest response that I see for something happen here. They pulled us through. In the rain, the young fellas went for it in the mangroves. The older heads also came out and helped," James said on Friday.
"I cannot explain what went through my mind when it was happening. It was so surreal. About ten minutes before, I finished cook, and put bread in the oven."
The ripping of the roof also made several bricks crumble, hitting and injuring her 21-year-old daughter.
"A nurse came and attended to her. She is okay."
Otherwise, "Apart from everything getting soaked, I have to throw away the cupboards and a bed. They were too damaged to repair," James said.
James is unemployed and previously worked in a supermarket. A nurse came and attended to her.
Nearby, the strong winds destroyed the wooden home of Catherine George.
She lives with her daughter and two grandchildren. No one was at home when the roof blew off, and the walls caved in.
Newsday spoke briefly with George, who said she had spent the night at the home of her "spiritual mother."
Nearby residents alerted her, and when she reached the house, it had already been destroyed.
Officials including councillors Gerald Debesette and Javed Mohammed from the Siparia Regional Corporation visited the affected families. They helped with immediate relief, like providing mattresses.
There were reports of other homes being damaged by what residents called a "freak storm."
On Thursday afternoon, the Met Office announced that TT was under an adverse yellow level weather alert. By 2 pm on Friday, the alert was discontinued, moving to the green level.
Several other families in south Trinidad were affected by the bad weather.
At Sand Pitt Road, Quarry Village in Siparia, construction worker Christopher Bhola told Newsday that his plywood house was beyond repair.
Bhola lives with his two sons, ages eight and seven, but no one was in the two-room house when it was hit on Thursday afternoon. There were no reports of injuries.
"I got a call that the roof was blown off. The back of the house was completely damaged. My relatives moved out as much items from the house as possible," Bhola said.
"It does not even make sense right now even to put up a tarpaulin, because the back is completely separated from the front."
Bhola estimated that the cost of the damage at over $25,000.
Councillor Jason Ali, of the SRC, met with the Bhola family on Friday to offer help.