Early morning showers coupled with what residents identified as poor drainage in the area caused flood waters to rise in several homes located on the south western peninsula.
The flooding along with several landslides and a major power outage in Cedros and Rancho Quemado and environs led to scores of families becoming marooned inside their homes yesterday morning. Classes at the Cedros Secondary and Cedros Government Primary schools were suspended for the day because of the flood in Bonasse Village. Damages to household appliances and personal belongings could run into the thousands of dollars.
Affected residents have laid the blame for their dilemma squarely on the shoulders of the councillors at the Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC) who they accused of fighting inside the council instead of taking care of the needs of their burgesses. According to the distressed residents in Rancho Quemado, all their complaints over the last few months have fallen on deaf ears.
At around 3 pm yesterday, councillor for the area Arlene Ramdeo toured the flooded region. She too blamed internal bickering in the SRC for the failure to complete dredging of rivers and drains in the area.
Among the families affected in Rancho Quemado were Laurencia Garcia, 30, her husband Darren Garcia, 32, their five-year-old daughter Delicia along with neighbour/proprietor Sherry Mohammed, 36, and her family which includes her one-year-old daughter Abigail and husband Alban Coutou. Mohammed told Newsday her mini-mart, on the ground floor of her home became flooded during the heavy rains.
“There is nowhere for the water to run off and it keep backing up into people’s homes,” the upset woman told Newsday. “|The drains need dredging but nothing is being done about it.
“This is not the first time and we are fed up.”
Rains had been pounding since eight o’clock on Tuesday night.
According to Mohammed, the river overflowed its banks and water began entering her business place/home.
“Everything in my cupboards just floating around,” Mohammed said. She said her family was forced to stay in the water as their home’s upstairs apartment was being renovated.
Ramdeo told Newsday: “There is a lot of flooding in Rancho (Quemado) the rivers need to be dredged. We tried it with the small excavators in the regional corporation but they couldn’t do the work.
“We are now in the process of contracting big excavators to clean the rivers.”
Ramdeo said because of the high absenteeism of councillors, the corporation was unable to get monies passed to contract the excavators.
Up to 3 pm yesterday, crews from T&TEC along with equipment from the Ministry of Works and Siparia Regional Corporation were kept busy in Cedros and environs as they restored power and removed five mud slides from along the Southern Main Road, Cedros, which made the roadway impassable.
The clean-up was monitored by Cedros councillor Shankar Teelucksingh who expressed satisfaction with the work carried out by the authorities.