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Wednesday 22 May 2019
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Bad weather to continue until after noon today

WATER PAIN: Water is everywhere after heavy rainfall yesterday in downtown Port of Spain.
WATER PAIN: Water is everywhere after heavy rainfall yesterday in downtown Port of Spain.

THE Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) issued an advisory yesterday urging the public to prepare for adverse weather conditions such as flash flooding, damaging gusty winds and landslides.

The Met Office issued an adverse weather alert yesterday at 10.17 am to today at 2 pm.

The ODPM had also advised people to delay their travel because of flash flooding in certain areas.

There were heavy showers in south east Trinidad which caused flooding in the Moruga area. Meteorologist Gary Benjamin said the bad weather would eventually head to Tobago. If impacted by the adverse weather, the Tobago Emergency Management Agency should be contacted. He said the seas were fairly good.

“I am not speaking about currents at this time, but the wind wave. Even though the water may be low it may be choppy because there may be a downdraft.”

The rain continued throughout yesterday afternoon and resulted in flooding in several areas. The East Dry River broke its banks and flooded several homes.

One Sea Lots resident, who did not want to give her name, said this was a normal thing when rain fell.

“We have two representatives who we never see. We fed up ask for help. I am living here for over 20 years and is the same thing every time the rain falls. You can’t come out here and talk openly because you know you will get in trouble. We have no proper drainage and people who built up in the area blocked the drains so there is always flood when rain falls.”

Head of the ODPM Neville Wint said they had identified several areas along the East-West corridor and south Trinidad and were monitoring the situation.

There were numerous reports of street and flash flooding in PoS, including St. Vincent and Edward Streets and Downtown PoS. The Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation reported flooding in several areas, and the Caparo River also burst its banks. The Arthur Lok Jack School of Business was evacuated because of flood waters.

Vehicles were seen almost submerged in the murky waters along some streets. One good Samaritan was seen assisting pedestrians along South Quay by using her pick-up to transport them to City Gate.

PoS mayor Joel Martinez said he was aware of what was happening.

“It was low tide so it means the capacity of water that came down during that period was severe and it was too much for the infrastructure. I know the corporation has been maintaining the clearing of the drains. If it is that debris has come down, it is from the Maraval hills and St Ann’s hills and surrounding areas because it was not debris that you could see in our drains.

“We do not have the number of outlets to hold the capacity of rainfall that is coming down. The run-off is too much for our current infrastructure. We have to encourage people to use the bins. We are a society that has had a tenure of bad habits and we ourselves have not placed enough bins in the city to ensure that people utilise it. We don’t have a proper programme in place to utilise it and be mindful of society. Flooding affects productivity, insurance, mobility...it has actually brought the city to a standstill. This is not a today problem, we have been enduring this for years.”

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