For some families in Christ Church Barbados, their lives have forever been changed by the sweeping winds and pounding rains from the passage of Hurricane Storm Elsa on Friday (June 2).
Officials noted that the South which includes Christ Church was the hardest hit.
BUZZ was on the ground and spoke to father and patriarch Dalton Best of the close-knit neighbourhood of Thyme Bottom nestled just metres away from the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Best was visibly shaken after his house was flattened by early morning winds from the passing hurricane. Winds ripped off the roof of his family home, leaving a mere shell naked to the elements.
When asked where he along with his grandsons and daughter would be staying, Best said his relatives have come to his assistance.
A young woman watching on who introduced herself as his niece shouted to Buzz;
“Even if we have to all cram in and sleep on the ground we are going to do it because this is family!”
But in the end, Best said he was very grateful to still be alive after the onslaught of the hurricane.
“You can get back a house but you can’t get back life. All you do is hope for the best,” he said.
Best recalled in 1955 when Hurricane Janet passed.
“I was only five at the time but this took the same path of Hurricane Janet…” he said shaking his head.
Hurricane Janet comparison
Hurricane Janet is noted as one of the most powerful cyclones ever in the 1955 hurricane season and one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record.
Also counting losses was neighbour Udine Phillips who had her roof shift from its position causing major leakage to her floor space.
She said that the house is over fifty years old after it was a gift given to her by her father. She too was shocked by the sudden winds.
“I was scared this morning. I was hoping that none of the coconut trees would tumble down and I get hurt in here.”
Trekking through the mud and grass barefooted was 94-year-old Alexander Best who agreed that Hurricane Elsa was the worst since 1955.
He said that he would be staying with relatives as his house was damaged by the heavy winds and rain.
Buzz later met up with members of the Prime Minister’s emergency management patrol who came to assess the damages in the community.
Broken light poles, tossed galvanized sheets on vehicles and uprooted trees were evidence of the damage left behind by Elsa.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley was joined by representative for the Christ Church East Constituency and Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams.
Mottley noted the seriousness of the matter.
“This is nothing to play with. I just ask Barbadians to be patient and let us get on top of the assessment. I ask people to play their part which is essentially staying inside as long as possible until we get by this.”
Currently, 75 per cent of the island is without electricity but an all-clear has been given by the Department of Emergency Management.
Elsa has since downgraded from a Hurricane to Tropical Storm.