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New York-Based Trini Offers Home to Countrymen Affected by Tropical Storm Bret

Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada Cleaning up After Tropical Storm Bret RICARDO BABULAL

 

Though thousands of miles away from his native Trinidad and Tobago, New York school teacher Ricardo Babulal is always on top of what’s happening in his beloved homeland.

This week, he looked on with distress as Tropical Storm Bret brushed the twin-island republic with its gusty winds and heavy winds, leaving behind damaged homes, uprooted trees, broken infrastructure and heavy flooding. The scenes of devastation have spurred him into action.

Babulal, who lives in New York City, is offering his two-bedroom home in Debe to flood victims who have nowhere to turn.

“I saw a lot of people in crisis and realized that offering my home in Trinidad may be a way of helping those in need,” he told he Trinidad Express newspaper, asking interested persons to contact him via email at Ricardo.babulal@yahoo.com or on Facebook (Cardo A. Basdeo).

Several families were displaced in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Bret, as roofs were blown off and flood waters entered their homes.

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Tropical Storm Bret Heads Toward Trinidad and GrenadaTHE HEAVY RAINS FROM TROPICAL STORM BRET FLOODED ROADS AND OTHER AREAS IN TRINIDAD

There were reports of roofs being blown off, fallen trees and power lines, and flooding in some parts of Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada as Tropical Storm Bret passed overnight, before moving along the northeastern coast of South America.

There were no reports of any injuries or fatalities, according to information coming from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) in Trinidad and Tobago. Schools and some private sector operations remain closed today, as the country cleans up following Bret’s passage.

In Grenada, Director of Operations at the National Emergency Operations Centre Kemron DuFont said more rains were expected throughout the day but work and school should resume as normal today.

“We had very little damage. You had some trees that fell on power lines and in some areas there is no electricity. But more or less, the impact was very, very minimal,” he said, adding that there was some minimal storm impact in neighbouring islands as well, based as preliminary assessments.

Forecasters say the storm, the first since the June 1 official start of the Atlantic hurricane season – following on the heels of the out-of-season Tropical Storm Arlene which formed over the central Atlantic Ocean in April – will be nothing more than a depression by tomorrow. But not before producing up to four inches of rain over the Windward Islands and the northeastern coast of Venezuela through today.

By 8 a.m., Bret, carrying maximum sustained winds near 45 miles per hour, was about 20 miles east northeast of Isla Margarita in Venezuela and expected to continue its journey into the southeastern Caribbean Sea.

“Little change in strength is forecast today, and a weakening trend is expected to begin later today and Bret is forecast to become a tropical depression on Wednesday,” the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said.

Tropical storm watches remain in effect for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. The only tropical warning that remains in effect is for Venezuela from Pedernales to Cumana including Isla de Margarita.

“Tropical storm conditions will occur over portions of the warning area for the next several hours, but these conditions should subside later today,” the NHC said.

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The first storm since the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season has formed, threatening Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada.

A hurricane hunter this afternoon found that what was previously a potential tropical cyclone had developed into Tropical Storm Bret, and the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said in its 5 p.m. advisory that the system carrying maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour.

Bret was about 125 miles southeast of Trinidad and about 225 miles southeast of Grenada at that time, and moving toward the west-northwest near 30 miles per hour. It is expected to continue at a slightly slower speed over the next 48 hours.

“On the forecast track, the tropical storm is expected to move near or over Trinidad and the eastern coast of Venezuela tonight and early tomorrow,” the NHC said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and parts of Venezuela’s east coast, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.

“Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach portions of the warning area tonight, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous,” the NHC said.

“The disturbance is expected to produce total rain accumulations of two to four inches over the Windward Islands and the eastern coast of Venezuela tonight and tomorrow.”

While Bret is the first storm since the June 1 to November 30 Atlantic hurricane season officially started, it’s not the second to form this year. Tropical Storm Arlene formed over the central Atlantic Ocean in April.

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