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Sandy Bay man: ‘Hurricane Tomas worst me ever see!’

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He was one of the two that chose to remain in Sandy Bay when La Soufriere erupted in 1979.{{more}}

Levi Baptiste told SEARCHLIGHT he was not afraid of what had transpired then, but his experience of Tropical Storm Tomas brought him great fear.

The 55-year-old Banana/Arrowroot Farmer and Carpenter of Sandy Bay said Tomas is by far the worst he had seen of disasters that had hit St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

The storm caught Baptiste at his lands in Orange Hill on Saturday, October 30.

He recalled that it was about 12:00 p.m. when high winds began to blow.

He recounted that a coconut tree broke in front of him, then another about 25 yards away.

Baptiste told SEARCHLIGHT he started walking down to the Orange Hill main road, but by this time the winds had grown stronger and the rain had started to pour, so he decided to take shelter with five other men who were also at the main road stop.

Baptiste, who quite evidently is grateful to be alive, said while he sheltered, three breadfruit trees broke in front of them blocking the main road.

One would think after witnessing this he would have sought the nearest shelter, but he was determined to get home. “Me leave e man ah dem dey and Sandy Bay ah coming,” he said with a chuckle.

Baptiste told SEARCHLIGHT after arriving home and taking a bath, he stood behind a door, for by this time the storm was in ‘full swing’.

At one time he said, “I saw something fly and it was one side of my roof, up the road, seconds after, the other side.”

Baptiste said he was about to call to his mother and sisters in their nearby house so they could have secured their items, but in a split-second that roof too was also flying in the air.

“I never see wind cut bolts in two. Me never see wind throw smoke! Me witness Soufriere but me prefer that,” said Baptiste.

Describing the mood in his community during and after Tomas, Baptiste said “people nah cry, dey bawl.”

“Worse me ever see, scary, especially when Mummy throw she head pon me and start to cry,” an emotional Baptiste exclaimed.