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Raging waters destroy couple’s home at Mount Young

Raging waters destroy couple’s home at Mount Young

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A Mount Young family managed to evacuate their home on Tuesday morning before an angry river, strengthened by pouring rain from a trough system, swept away half of their dwelling house.

Stanley and Sylverno Ince told SEARCHLIGHT that on Tuesday morning at exactly 2:30, rain started falling incessantly and they became worried and started to monitor the river that they have lived next to for over 20 years.

According to Sylverno, she awoke at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and noticed that although there was lightning and thunder, no rain was falling.{{more}}

She said that the lightning, which was “blinking like Christmas lights,” reminded her of 2013, when flash floods ravaged the nation, and when her husband got up minutes after, he too became alarmed by the lightning.

“I was back and forth peeping at the river and it was normal, so I lay down, but every two minutes I was getting up looking,” recalled Sylverno who, when the rain eventually started falling observed that the river had become muddy and rough in a short space of time.

She said that when the river began rising, she asked her husband to untie the dog.

Monitoring the river, the Inces decided that they would ask a neighbour to allow them to spend the night, as they did not want to risk staying in the house.

“We had two flash floods in the past and the river never came up in the yard; the water would go the other side, but we live in a danger zone, so we are always prepared. So, when I saw the other bank was flooding, I called my friend and asked her to come over and stay with her,” said Sylverno.

She said she took one suit of clothes and she and her husband went to her friend’s home, but at around 6.10 a.m., a man whom she knows as “Duncan” brought the sad news that their home was destroyed.

“He tell me the whole house gone ah bay side and I couldn’t believe it,” said Sylverno, who revealed that when she went to the area, she noticed that the bailey bridge that was being used as a bypass bridge had washed away and was lodged a few feet from her home, causing her to assume that the bridge had struck the house.

She said that the contents of her kitchen, bathroom and one of her bedrooms were swept away by the raging waters.

“Some of the things in the river and others on the beach. We lost all the contents of the kitchen, a whirlpool fridge on the beach, microwave, stove, bathroom, everything gone, wash away.

“I feel heartbroken, but I have to say thank God for life, because it could be worse,” said Sylverno, who added that she thinks they survived because she had paid close attention to the river.

“If I had lay down, I could have get trapped and washed away because burglar bars on that side and I would not get to come out,” stressed the distraught woman, who revealed that her grandson and daughter would usually spend time at her home, but she did not allow them to stay there because of the weather.

“I see it as a disaster zone, so I always have to be ready,” said the self-employed woman, who makes coconut oil for a living.

“We would be grateful to get back a home. Deep within me I think that the bridge had a lot to do with it, because it forced the water on us,” said Sylverno.

Stanley said that so far, they have been visited by Minister of National Mobilization and Social Development Frederick Stephenson and Deputy Prime Minister Louis Straker.

He said in his opinion, they cannot rebuild their home in the same area, as during every serious weather event, the river moves closer inland.

A National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) situation report for November 28 to 29 said that the country was affected by an eastward moving trough system which produced heavy showers, resulting in flooding and landslides in several areas, mainly to the northeast and northwest of the mainland.

It was noted that the SVG Meteorological Office recorded approximately 2.4 inches of rainfall at the ET Joshua Airport between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, while rainfall data from the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) indicated that Spring Village (Convent) received 5.6 inches of rainfall between midnight Monday and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November, 29 while Vermont (Dallaway) got 4.2 inches, Congo Valley (Jennings) 8.7 inches and South Rivers 6.3 inches of rainfall during that period of time.

One hundred and seventy seven (177) persons sought shelter at the various shelters, while 15 houses were destroyed, 20 were damaged and six were flooded.

There were 15 reported landslides, eight damaged bridges and eight damaged roads.(LC)

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