Met Office: Weather will ease in time for voting

File photo: Drivers proceed cautiously through a flooded road in Barrackpore after heavy rainfall on August 9. 
File photo: Drivers proceed cautiously through a flooded road in Barrackpore after heavy rainfall on August 9. PHOTO BY CHEQUANA WHEELER

Although there has been heavy rain in the air as well as the coming election, voters have been told the weather conditions will improve by Monday.

In 2015, bad weather led the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to extend the voting time by an hour, only in Trinidad.

This sparked outrage in the United National Congress (UNC) camp, with its political leader calling for the election results to be declared null and void.

But according to the Met Office, the weather is expected to improve late on Sunday night, giving way to sunny and hazy conditions on Monday.

Meteorologist Kiran Sedoo told Sunday Newsday the rain over the weekend was due to activity in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) brought about by two tropical waves in the geographical area.

But, he said, “The weather should change by Monday, so in the morning we can expect sunny and hazy conditions – hazy conditions because of the Sahara dust.

“By evening, Trinidad, and mostly in the western part, there is expected rainfall and even thunder showers. Tobago not so much.”

An adverse weather alert (yellow level) issued by the Met Office on Saturday said additional rain was expected after midnight that night and into the early Sunday morning. It said occasional heavy showers, thunderstorms, gusty winds and street or flash flooding were expected. It also issued a riverine alert, especially along the Caroni River basin. Any runoff was expected to affected by a high tide on Saturday night.

On Saturday, areas in south Trinidad such as Barrackpore, Penal and Debe suffered flash flooding.

Several local councillors said, however, the flood waters subsided quickly and vehicles were able to get through There were no reports of serious damage to property or injuries up to news time except for a house that collapsed in Arima.

But one taxi driver in Barrackpore, who goes by the name of “Ras,” told Sunday Newsday that the possibility for greater damage was high because the watercourses cannot contain the volume brought on by heavy rains.

He said, “The drains and so-called rivers are too small to hold all this water. I mean, just look how much rain we had last night, and these drains are so tiny. Of course it is going to overflow.

“We were actually quite lucky this time. More rain and well we will be in trouble. There were times we were actually cut off from the rest of the country.”

The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government reported that while there were no injuries in Diego Martin, there were landslides, fallen trees and flash floods. San Juan/Laventille had two reports of flooding, one collapsed wall and six fallen trees.

In the Tunapuna/Piarco region there were reports of flooding in 12 areas and two landslides.

The ministry said the sluice gate at Real Spring, Valsayn had to be opened to prevent the nearby river from bursting its banks.

Heavy flooding in Lovers Lane in Wallerfield led the regional corporation to evacuate people out of their homes to safety, using a dinghy

Senior disaster management co-ordinator at the Local Government Ministry Jerry David said the ministry was working closely with the first responder units, the disaster management units at the regional corporations and community response teams to assess damage and monitor the changes in the weather.


"Met Office: Weather will ease in time for voting"

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