Police Officer, Anselm Austrie, says he is lucky to be alive after a river which overflowed its banks, came crashing through an apartment that he and his girlfriend occupy in Castle Comfort.
According to the police officer, he woke up to a loud thunderous noise on the morning of Tuesday December 24th 2013 and upon investigating, he saw that the river (La Riviere Kanawi) was about to overflow its banks.
“I immediately woke up my girlfriend and told her we need to get out of this place, because the river is going to overflow and when it does it will take us also. All I had time to do was put on a pant and we both ran out of the house,” Austrie explained.
They went onto the road where they monitored the river. Then suddenly, things took a turn for the worse as the river broke its banks and both Austrie and his girlfriend had to flee for their lives from the raging water.
“The water was so strong that in running it threw us down a number of times and what is more worrisome is that my girlfriend is five months pregnant and she was also injured,” Austrie added.
He said following the incident, his girlfriend kept complaining of pains under her stomach and needed medical attention.
This was delayed as the Citronier highway and the Castle Comfort road were both blocked by landslides following the heavy overnight rain, as a result of a trough system that had been affecting the island for several days.
After some time, his girlfriend was moved via a stretcher carried by police officers and fire and ambulance personnel from one side of the landslide on the Citronier highway, to an awaiting vehicle on the opposite side and then transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital, Austrie recounted.
The law enforcement officer said they lost everything in the house including the couch, television, laptop, clothes, refrigerators, stove and washing machine, which were brand new, but are no longer of any use, as the apartment was flooded with up to 3 and a ½ feet of debris-filled muddy water.
“I thank God for sparing our lives, but at this point I do not know what can be done to help me as a result of this tragedy,” the flood afflicted Austrie pondered.
The couple had moved into the apartment just six months ago.