Rain and wind add on to storm-devastation in Latvia

Most of the roofs of homes damaged in the devastating storm of August 7 have now been covered with films. But the continuing rain and wind rips holes in the film, and many sleep with a bucket of rainwater next to the bed, Latvian Television reported on August 28.

Cleanup activity is already seen on the road as one enters the Dobele municipality, where the storm hit hardest. Several trees are still leaning over the road. The activity in the Zelmeņi village is seen in the courtyard of almost every house. Some use all possible vessels for water collection.

"Losses all over the place. Of course, in a residential house, it's the worst. For nearly a hundred years, the concrete-tiled roof had survived. One side will stay because we can't pull both sides financially. For the other half, we are likely to bring material this week," said Ilze Vilciņa, the owner of the home café “Virtuves burvestības” (The Magic of the Kitchen).

While the roof has not been repaired, the destruction is only increasing. She admitted that the temporary film gave little help. Capital repairs will be needed in many rooms. The attic of the house shows that the water has been seeping through the insulation for a long time.

There was also an inherited library in the house that was completely soaked, all the books already burned.

The total repair costs will exceed tens of thousands of euros. The local government's support of €3,000 will not cover muchs. “The money has been credited, thank the local government. Quite operational. We got the maximum of it, I guess. We have a big area. About a tenth will be covered,” said Vilciņa.

It is also difficult to obtain the necessary roof material. The demand for this is now very high.

Similarly, several apartment buildings are unable to agree on the necessary works and their costs, said Maija, resident of Zelmeņi.

“Can't save anything with the film – the wind is ripping everything off (..) Each apartment was pathcing up something of its own. You can't [catch it up. We also have to put everything together to keep the sheds, too. This house, which kept its roof, had all its windows smashed. My barn lost its roof, everything went to waste. I don't even want to talk at all,” Maija said.

According to the municipality, more than 1,600 households have already asked for aid and people continue to apply for aid every day.

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