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Tomas delivers sound pounding to North Leeward

Tomas delivers sound pounding to North Leeward

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North Leeward took a solid pounding from Hurricane Tomas, with Sharpes Village in Chateaubelair taking the brunt of it.{{more}}

Many houses in that community lost part of, or the entire roof. Many families are in shelters and entire crops were destroyed.

Sharpes Village resident Susan Isaacs said that she was in her living room on Saturday at around 2:30 pm when she heard a loud rumbling. Following the noise, her whole house shook. Upon investigation, Isaacs said that a very large boulder had slammed into the back of her house, into her daughter’s bedroom.

The family is now staying with relatives. Ironically Isaacs’s mother’s partially new home, also in the Sharpes area, lost its roof.

The Chateaubelair wharf sustained some damage in the form of a large crack on the side of the platform facing the shore, and tons of debris were dumped on the shoreline. The cleanup effort has started, but it will be a monumental task in days to come. Many roads are still blocked from beyond Fitzhughes to Petit Wallilabou, by landslides and trees.

Rose Hall, the highest elevated settlement in the country, suffered its usual toll. However, the other communities suffered moderate damage to property. Two sailing yachts ran ashore at Cumberland. One is completely destroyed, while the other is just resting on the beach unscathed.

One area resident told SEARCHLIGHT that that Tomas is the worst storm to hit the area since Janet in the late fifties. Area representative Jerrol Thompson toured the area on Sunday. Also touring the area was New Democratic Party caretaker Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews. Matthews told SEARCHLIGHT that he is overwhelmed by the damage, especially to the agricultural sector.

“It would take real united human effort to bring this place back,” he said.

In 1889, the town of Chateaubelair suffered from the effects of a severe hurricane that left only two buildings standing.(TY)

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