Old things bring new, thanks to Hurricane Dean
August 24, 2007

Old things bring new, thanks to Hurricane Dean


Hurricane Dean was a blessing to Amy Williams, even though it spoilt her stove and destroyed her home of nine years.

That destruction cleared the way for a huge blessing that has her sporting an ear to ear smile that could light up any dark sky; a one bedroom low income house at Colonarie.{{more}}

“When the Prime Minister visited us, he hugged me, then he and Howie Prince was talking and then he turned to me and told me that he was giving me the house,” said Amy, 44, who earns $300 per month as the cleaner at the Colonarie Primary School.

“I always used to ask God to give me covering, I thank God so much,” Amy said.

Amy’s is one of five families that received government houses: three at Colonarie and two from Sandy Bay. Those from Sandy Bay were given houses at Langley Park.

Williams grew up on Colonarie bay with her mother and was no stranger to the wrath of the sea, but the fury of Dean was unlike anything she had experienced before.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do when I saw what happened to my little shelter,” she said.

She said that the modest dwelling was given to her nine years ago by her cousin, and even though she knew it wasn’t the safest, it was all she had and could afford.

So even though she had to place one of her two beds in the living room, Amy said she is thankful that she, her two daughters, and two grandchildren can finally feel safe.

“I feel sorry for those who are still in danger and hope things could get better for them,” Amy said.

Meanwhile, one such person still living in danger is Betty Smart, who along with her boyfriend Leslie Pope, and two sons, 14 and 4 years old, are looking for a way out.

“When hurricane Ivan passed, I was trying to apply for a low income house but during the process I just didn’t bother,” Betty said.

She told SEARCHLIGHT however, that after Dean’s visit, when she saw the fear on her four-year-old son Kadeem’s face, she and her boyfriend knew that they must get out from danger’s grasp.

“But most people in this area real poor, so any help from government go be good, I don’t know for anybody else but now, we really really want to move,” she said.

However Zita James, who has lived in the area for 23 years says that she doesn’t see herself moving.

Zita told SEARCHLIGHT that she has heard of government’s $16,000 credit offer for properties in these “danger areas” but finds that inadequate to compensate her for her two-storey, five-bedroom house.

“I prefer to dead here than to take $16,000 for my house,” she said defiantly, adding “I can’t give up my hard sweat for $16000.”

Zita shares her home with her husband Girey, three children and four grandchildren.