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Jul 6, 2018

A Freak Storm in Ladyville Tears off a Rooftop and Drenches a Bungalow

A system has strengthened to become the first hurricane for the 2018 season; Beryl is not heading this way and expected to weaken before landfall. But on Thursday evening, a freak storm damaged at least one house in its direct path. It happened during the downpour in Ladyville caused by two tropical waves crossing over the country. A single mother and her teenage daughter were at home resting when the roof to the house was ripped away by the freak storm. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Since the hurricane season began in early June, Belize has been spared of the devastating effects of a natural disaster.  Of all the named weather systems that have formed in the Atlantic, none have found their bearings in our direction.  But on Thursday evening in Ladyville, one woman, a single mother renting a roadside bungalow, felt the ravages of freak storm when it tore off her roof and sent sheets of zinc soaring across the highway.

 

Yvette Jacobs

Yvette Jacobs, Resident, Ladyville

“I heard this breeze and rain out there and I jumped up and I said, “Lisa, did you lock the back door?”  And she said, “No mommy.”  Well I said, okay, I wahn jump up and I started… She was doing some homework at the time and I just jumped up and I locked the back door and at that time the rain just started coming down hard and breeze like crazy, so I heard this big bang.  When I run at the front door I saw the whole roof just going over that side.  But really, I didn’t know it was my roof.  I thought… then she come and she said, “Mommy, your roof is going over the street and I said, “No, it’s something from the back there [that] the breeze is taking.  I said it’s not my roof and then when we looked, water started to throw in the whole house and everything started getting wet.”

 

Yvette Jacobs has been living here, as a tenant at the corners of Robin Street and the Phillip Goldson Highway, for over five years.  What happened at her home on Thursday, literally took her by storm, leaving her as the only victim in its wake.

 

Shanea Young

Shanea Young, Meteorologist

“From since Wednesday night into Thursday, we have been experiencing the passage of two tropical waves.  One passed on Wednesday night/Thursday morning and currently one is over us.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I understand that with the rains on Thursday evening there may have some gusts of wind that are associated with the passage of those rains.  Can you speak to us, perhaps with some specificity, on the rains that were experienced yesterday?”

 

Shanea Young

“Yesterday afternoon, mostly around the central areas, there were several thunderstorms that affected the country.  And so yesterday evening during the thunderstorm there was the possibility of getting down drafts and that’s what occurred yesterday with the passage of the wave.”

 

The squall proved strong enough to cause major structural damages to the rental property.  Jacobs had just arrived at home with her teenage daughter and was resting a little when the tumult swept down on her rooftop.

 

Yvette Jacobs

“I said, “Oh my God!”  And I started crying and I said, “Mein, what am I going to do?”  And then I stood there and I started calling everybody, calling my sons, calling my landlord.  I called everybody and so they actually answered me and everybody come to rescue and then after that I saw a guy out there and he said he’s from NEMO and he’s going to try and get some assistance for me and see what he can actually try to help me with because I told him I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know where to turn to, I am so tense I don’t know what to do.”

 

That individual then assisted her with a pair of foam mattresses and Jacobs would later cover her furniture and household appliances.  NEMO personnel arrived at the residence sometime thereafter and proceeded to nail down a few sheets of zinc that had flown off the top of the structure.  A damage assessment is yet to be undertaken.

 

Yvette Jacobs

“Actually all I did was, I put a big pool over everything, covered it up and it was, well it was already wet, but I still just tried covering it because I said, well if it rains more in the night then it will be more secure.  So I just left it like that, but right now all my sofa and my bed and everything is soaked.”

 

Jacobs is seeking public assistance to help her relocate to a property she has built in Lord’s Bank, which needs electrification, as well as the completion of a septic tank. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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