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‘Freak storm’ hits St Margaret’s Bay, Portland

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‘Freak storm’ hits St Margaret’s Bay, Portland

Monday, November 02, 2020

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St Margaret’s Bay in Portland, which was spared the damage associated with the outer bands of Tropical Storm Zeta recently, was battered on Saturday as a ‘freak storm’ downed trees, utility wires, and removed sheets of zinc from houses within a 300-metre span.

One resident Nadine Haughton-Dunn shared her experience with the strong winds and rain which hit the community.

“It was about after 7:00 pm while I was lying down on the bed and the lightning and thunder was going on before I heard a sound like the tree fell to the ground. Then I heard my roof lifting and water coming in. I heard this loud bang and there was a lot of lightning and thunder, and it was really something else,” Haughton-Dunn told the Jamaica Observer.

“Someone came and help me to put on the roof this morning. I felt very terrified as I saw the roof lifting off. The water was coming in and the children were here with me. I live in the sea area and from the other day I see lightning coming from the sea,” she added while pointing to the tarpaulin that she has used to cover some items in her house.

Haughton-Dunn’s neighbour Shane Williams was on the roof of his house when our news team arrived.

“I was here and all of a sudden I just hear a breeze develop, and by the time I come out the whole roof already gone [and] within a few seconds, the whole place just gone. I was by my workplace when it happened and as soon as I came around the breeze just tek up the top of the roof.

“All now I can’t find some of the zinc dem. All of them gone. Part of the shop damaged, the house roof gone, it is a great damage. A girl lives in the house beside me and everything wet up, all her TV and bed,” said Williams.

At DIB Hardware and Block Factory several sheets of zinc were mangled by the strong breeze, while other items suffered water damage.

“We really get a bad damage. It hit us hard as you realise… Seems like it was more than a freak storm. I was traumatised as I was here. I was really scared hearing the whistling sound, zinc tearing apart. It frighten me. We are trying to protect some things like the cement and the lumber and the workers are here helping us putting things together. We have not assessed the extent of the damage as yet,” said Damar Bell, a member of the management team at the hardware.

— Everard Owen

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