Covered in oil: Resident Klevon Cadette surveys the damage caused to his property following last Tuesday’s oil spill at Queen’s Beach, La Brea, yesterday.

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Christmas uncertain for affected families

 Father of two Klevon Cadette is hoping that his children will be able to return home for Christmas.

Cadette’s two young children— Akeen, four and Akiah, eight months—were removed to their grandmother’s house because the scent emanating from the oil slick near their home in La Brea was overbearing.

They live along the beachfront at Queens Beach (Coffee Beach) in La Brea, where a black, thick oil surfaced on Wednesday.

Cadette, 27, said his children were unable to remain in their home.

“I had to move them out. I came home late on Wednesday, so I went to bed. I did not know it was so bad. When I woke up, the oil had come up under my house. The smell was horrible. My children can’t stay in that house. We had to send them away from here. I don’t like being apart from them. But that was what I had to do, for their own safety,” he said.

Cadette said his children were staying with their grandmother at Vance River.

He said the oil-stained water began splashing on his wooden house when the tide rose.

“I just want them to do something about this. I think I need some kind of compensation for this because it under my house right now,” he said.

Cadette said his family had never been separated before. And his wish is to have his children spend Christmas in their home.

“I want them to be able to come home and spend a normal Christmas with me. I can’t even prepare for Christmas because of this situation here,” he said.’

The Cadettes were among 15 families affected by the oil slick in La Brea. 

The families living along the beachfront complained that they were unable to prepare for the holiday season.

An emergency shelter was set up at the nearby La Brea Community Centre, but residents refused to leave their homes.

 “We not leaving our homes unattended. We not going there. We want them to speed up this clean-up exercise,” he said.

Three contractors have been engaged by Petrotrin to clean-up the beachfront. 

“The workers are on a shift system, working around the clock. But we need to get this done quickly,” he said. 

—Carolyn Kissoon

 
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