Rain causes flooding, property damage across the country on Friday

A tractor removes debris from Maniram Trace, Five Rivers after a retaining wall collapsed due to heavy rainfall in the area on Friday morning - Kwasi Robinson
A tractor removes debris from Maniram Trace, Five Rivers after a retaining wall collapsed due to heavy rainfall in the area on Friday morning - Kwasi Robinson

Residents in different parts of the country reported flooding and property damage after heavy rain early on Friday morning.

On that morning, the Met Office issued a yellow-level adverse weather alert that is expected to last until midday, Saturday.

Residents of Beach Road, Palo Seco said this was one of the worst incidents of flooding in the area in some years.

Gideon Figeroux has been living on Beach Road for 40 years and said the area regularly floods, but not at this time of year.

“It is a regular occurrence around August in the middle of or to the end of what we know as the hurricane season,” he told Newsday in a phone interview on Friday.

He said, however, he was not caught off guard because he had trained himself to act quickly whenever he heard rain falling.

“Anytime rain falls you have to be vigilant. If you are not mindful, you could lose property. It has never been the case where rain fall and I feel comfortable.”

He said the water comes from the nearby Beach Camp property, owned by Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd.

“Drainage from there doesn’t lead out to the sea. It leads to the village.”

He said while water did not make its way into his house, some of his neighbours were not as fortunate.

A truck from the Tunapuna/Piacro Corporation removes debris from Maniram Trace, Five Rivers, where a retaining wall collapsed after heavy rain on Friday morning - Kwasi Robinson

“My problem is the insects afterwards. Clean-up is not a problem. That is exercise for me. I have to deal with snakes and insects afterwards. I have four children and I have to think about them.”

Figeroux’s neighbour Nazim Mohammed lost property, including a fridge and washing machine, that he was not able to get to higher ground because of a back injury.

“What could move went outside, but everything else (was damaged)." He said there are three vehicles in the yard that may also have serious water damage.

He said there is a river running behind his home that contributes to the flooding. His daughter Ria told Newsday even if a little rain falls, the water comes up and onto their property. She said the family has made several requests to the Ministry of Works and Transport to fix the problem.

Mohammed said it had been at least 15 years since the ministry has attended to the river. He said the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) reached out to the family to ask about the damage.

A box drain collapsed in Windsor Heights Arima on Friday after heavy rain in the area. - Kwasi Robinson

Chairman of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Kwasi Robinson said there were three reported incidents of property damage as a result of the rain.

The first was a landslip in Windsor Heights, Arima. The resident, who requested anonymity, told Newsday she had just got home around 11am after a night shift and was trying to sleep when she heard a loud tumbling. When she went outside to investigate, she saw that the box drain in front of her home had collapsed and taken a part of her property with it.

She also said a TT Electricity Commission (T&TEC) pole was in danger of falling and technicians were at the site to fix it.

Robinson said there was another landslip in front of a resident’s home reported on Maniram Road, Five Rivers. Newsday spoke to the resident, who wished to remain anonymous. She said the retaining wall, built by the corporation collapsed into the street.

She said the councillor for the area, Desiree DeFreitas Foster, visited the site and was very efficient in having the road cleared quickly.

Robinson said flash flooding was also reported on Demerara Road, Arima, and flooded the house of a resident. He said councillor Kerry-Anne Roberts-Kasmally visited the family.

Robinson said heavy rainfall usually affects areas such as Five Rivers, Arouca, Tunapuna, and Maracas Gardens in the corporation.

“Thank God no rain has fallen for the afternoon thus far,” he said, adding there were no reports of loss of life.


"Rain causes flooding, property damage across the country on Friday"

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