Woman washed away in floodwaters

A man stands near the Surrey River in Lopinot where Theresa Lynch was swept away on Wednesday. Photo by Sureash Cholai
A man stands near the Surrey River in Lopinot where Theresa Lynch was swept away on Wednesday. Photo by Sureash Cholai

LOPINOT residents continued to hold out hope for a woman who was swept away by strong currents in the Surrey River on Wednesday morning.

Newsday understands Theresa Lynch, 45, her brother, identified only as William, and two friends went to tend to their crops in McDavid Street, Surrey Village, Lopinot.

At around 10 am, Lynch and her brother tried to cross the river but both were swept away. While her brother was able to pull himself out of the river, Lynch quickly disappeared under the water.

Her brother was taken to hospital for minor injuries and remained warded up to Wednesday night.

Residents in the area called the police and fire service, who started a search and rescue exercise for the woman.

Officers from the Fire Services' Land, Search and Rescue Unit as well as volunteers from the Hunters Search and Rescue Team continued to search different parts of the Surrey River and surrounding forested areas for Lynch up to 6.30 pm.

Several residents in the area said Lynch, who lived in La Pastora, had been planting crops for about two years.

One of Lynch's neighbours said she was known to be a good swimmer and hoped she survived the ordeal.

"It's not a nice situation to be in. We live on the land here and we've never seen the river with currents so strong before.

"I really do hope she is found safely, though," the neighbour said.

Fire officers and hunters continued their search into the night, using torchlights and head lamps to try and find Lynch.

Residents count losses

Residents and business owners on Lopinot Road, said they were taken by surprise by the flooding. They said the heavy rain, which began at around 9 am, led to the swelling of a nearby river and flooding of homes.

AFTERMATH: People clean up mud outside Budget Bright Supermarket in Lopinot after heavy showers on Wednesday. - Photo by Sureash Cholai

Newsday visited Lopinot Road and spoke with business owner Chandai Singh, whose grocery was flooded.

Singh has lived in the area for over 20 years and said this was the worst flooding she had seen in her time as a resident.

"We don't get flooding anywhere near this level.

"It wasn't just the grocery that was affected. We live on the same compound and all of the rooms were ruined from all the mud and floodwater."

Singh, who opened the grocery two months ago, said dealing with flooding so soon after opening her business was difficult.

A nearby bar was also flooded, with the water level rising so high that it destroyed a roulette machine.

One resident, Gayatri Singh, who volunteered to help her neighbours clean up, said workers barely had time to leave before water began to flood the bar.

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