Edinboro family may soon be homeless when the emergency shelter closes
The house she grew up living in at Edinboro, West Kingstown, was recently damaged by a landslide, forcing her and her three children to flee to the nearby JP Eustace Secondary School, which is being used to house persons from the Red Zone who evacuated due to the eruption of La Soufriere Volcano.
It has been about a month since La-Furn Lewis sought shelter at the school. And, as evacuees slowly return home and the shelters begin to close doors, it is only a matter of time before she and her children – ages 15, 11, and 6 – will have to find another place to live.
She is now wondering where she and her family will go to live. All three children attend school; her first son is a secondary school student. The second son is preparing for the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) exams. Her daughter is six years old and attends a primary school.
On a visit to the location on Monday, it was observed that sizeable stones, a tree, and a great deal of mud almost covered the back of her house.
Lewis said there was a landslide during the heavy rains which pounded the island about a month ago, causing a trail of destruction across the country.
In an interview on Monday, Lewis said that on the day of the landslide, she had just awoken sometime after 8 a.m when she heard shouts from her neighbor who was trying to alert her.
As she came outside, she heard a crashing sound, so she rushed back into the house to wake two of her children and get them out of the house. The other child, she said, was already awake and watching television in the living room.
Lewis said a lot of water went into the house, damaging her furniture and her children’s school books.
Asked what she did, Lewis replied: “To be honest, I had an emergency bag packed for my three children and me. I know I wouldn’t have been affected by La Soufriere, but we always have to have an emergency bag packed in case of anything. So, we got the bag, and we went down to the JP Eustace Secondary School.”
The mother of three said that the matter had been reported to NEMO, and she is awaiting their response.
On Wednesday afternoon, Lewis said that she asked someone to do an assessment and estimate the construction of a retaining wall. Still, she was advised to relocate, especially how it is now the hurricane season. In addition, the rainfall poses a danger of further land erosion above, which could cause further extensive damage to the house.
Lewis’s house is located below that of the Poyer family, whose house is in a precarious position because part of the foundation has been damaged.
Republished With Permission From CIBS