Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s press conference – June 17, 2021. (PMO)

Work has started on a number of the homes which were damaged during the freak storm which affected Barbados early Thursday morning.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said a number of people had already received materials to carry out their repairs but in some instances, government agencies would have to undertake the work.

“We will continue to work with the residents and the persons who have been affected….  I give you the assurance that we may not be able to do everything that people would like, but we’re going to do as much…as we can….

“With regards to those who have been affected, the Barbados Statistical Service and the Welfare Department are doing the social surveys to ensure that the Government can act with certainty, transparency, empathy, and with speed,” she assured.

Ms. Mottley made the comments as she addressed the nation on Thursday evening, after touring a number of districts that had been affected by the freak storm.

She disclosed that some houses were completely destroyed, others now had significant leaks and persons reported property damage, including furniture and beds.

The Prime Minister stated that the Department of Emergency Management had received reports of at least 28 houses being damaged, while a separate list being compiled for St. Joseph revealed that about 18 or so homes were affected.

“We have some schools that were affected as well.  Grantley Adams Memorial School reported some level of damage…. We also saw limited damage at The Lodge School, in terms of rain and flooding, …in one or two classrooms. Alleyne School’s damage related more to fallen trees…on the compound,” she explained, adding that damage was reported at either St. George Primary or St. George Secondary School.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and officials surveying the damage caused to some properties following Thursday’s freak storm. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Ms. Mottley also noted that there were elements of mudslides at Blackmans Tenantry; Bruce Vale; Belleplaine, and Lakes.  Three vessels broke their moorings, she revealed, and one washed up off Maxwell Coast Road; while “fairly severe” beach erosion had been reported at two beaches.

“So, we’re going to have to continue to assess the volume of damage, and we’re going to have to help those who need the assistance,” she stated.

In addition, she said there was loss of water and electrical power in some parts of the island, including the north. “I’ve been informed that 75 to 80 per cent of the power has been restored by the Barbados Light and Power, and the Barbados Water Authority has been working assiduously to get back water to most of the key areas that have been affected,” she reported.

Government, she assured, would continue to work with the utility companies to make sure the remaining districts received power and water as soon as possible.

Ms. Mottley said the mud and ash on some roads had now made them quite treacherous and stressed that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources would continue to clean them on Friday and into the weekend.

She surmised that the work done at the Salt Pond, St. Peter and Murphy’s pasture, The City, had caused those areas to withstand any heavy rains.  

“I’m happy to report that, even though we’ve not completely finished Murphy’s pasture, what was done there was a retention pond and what we’ve done with the widening of the canal, literally ensured that we do not have them to count as persons who have been seriously affected by this issue. Same thing with Wotton in Christ Church; I’m told that the retention pond there seemed to have been working and in Map Hill, St. Michael,” she reported.

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