A peaceful night turned into a nightmare for a North Oropouche family when, at the stroke of midnight, disaster hit.
The family of five had to flee to the ground floor of their two-storey home after strong winds ripped their roof off early on Friday morning. As the wind howled in the darkness and rain drenched them, the family, including one child, kept their heads down, amid the clanging of the remaining galvanise roofing clinging hopelessly to wood, and ran to the safer floor.
One of the residents, Akeal, told Newsday "a tornado" had ripped through the house.
Power and water supply went almost simultaneously, he said.
"A tornado. A tornado was in the area for around ten minutes. Yuh just hearing the tornado spinning. It was real powerful," he said.
He told his family to keep away from the windows and "stay in the middle room downstairs, where it safer."
Asked what help he got after the catastrophe, he said, "No assistance – nobody from T&TEC, police, nobody come out. Just people in the community doing whatever they could do right now."
He said it was a scary moment for his family and neighbours.
The close-knit community was out in their numbers early Friday morning helping remove the galvanise sheets blocking the road and pulling off the few clinging haphazardly to the house.
Akeal was unsure where they would sleep tonight.
"Probably by family," he said.
He is hopeful power and water would come back soon.
In Sangre Grande, a woman said a tree fell and almost killed her sheep in their pen.
One scared ram tethered to to a tree nearby burst his rope and fled.
Mrs Marilyn told Newsday, "I was up. It was around quarter past 12 and I heard this loud noise like galvanise flying. Then we started hearing things falling down, but we wasn't sure what going on."
She said the strong wind had her feeling scared.
"I was a bit nervy. I started to feel panicky. When we came outside we see this set of ruction, then current went."
She said her family were not the only ones who were frightened.
"The sheep were real scared. Just where the tree fell, the ram burst the rope and we couldn't see him. We were hoping when daylight come we would see him.
"The others keep bawling whole night, and the dogs were like wild horses."
She said they eventually found the ram wandering in the back.
Contacted on Friday, Toco/Sangre Grande MP Roger Munroe said he was out assisting and assessing the damage.
"Right now I'm on the field. I've been up since about 1 am dealing with calls, trying to bring assistance to persons affected from that time to this morning. We have a lot of roofs blown off, trees fell and made roads impassable. Some trees fell on high-tension wire and we were out of power for a while."