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Sunday 17 November 2019
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Heavy rain causes flooding, traffic

Heavy rainfall yesterday triggered flash flooding in various parts of the country, including Port-of-Spain, El Socorro, Orange Grove and Barataria.

The situation caused massive traffic gridlock in several areas as people tried to get home.

Commuters in Belmont and parts of east Port-of-Spain told Newsday they were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for hours.

There were reports that flood waters crossed the Eastern Main Road in St Augustine, rendering the roadway impassable.

A Orange Grove, Trincity resident also said via social media that approximately two feet of water surged through her home.

“I have never seen that kind of water before,” she said.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), in a statement, confirmed it had received reports of flash flooding along South Quay, Port-of-Spain and Third Street, Barataria.

However, it made no mention of the flooding that occured in other areas along the east-west corridor. The ODPM advised that due to continuous reports of rising water levels in South Quay and Barataria, travel would have been delayed. It said commuters should exercise vigilance as waters were beginning to crest at the Morvant River. The ODPM advised that after heavy rainfall, people should stay inside until water levels subside and venture outside only when it is confirmed safe.

It said people living in flood-prone areas should place furniture and appliances on a height and keep sandbags easily accessible. Those in flood-prone communities, the ODPM said, should continuously monitor river levels and place all important documents in a waterproof bag.

It said people should avoid walking through moving water.

“As little as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of moving water can make you fall,” the ODPM said.

“If you have to walk in water, wherever possible, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.”

The ODPM warned that commuters should not drive in flooded areas. “If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.”

It also urged people to desist from touching electrical equipment or standing in water.

Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Metereorological Service said people with marine interests should exercise caution as seas can become agitated due to long period swells, especially in areas close to the shore.

It said brief light or moderate showers in a few areas, last evening, would have given way to a mostly clear night.

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