Floods hit east Trinidad

File photo/Sureash Cholai
File photo/Sureash Cholai

LOW lying sections of Realspring and Oropune Gardens housing estates were among the worst-hit areas of east Trinidad affected by floodwaters on Sunday, amid a continuation of several days of ongoing drizzle.

At the south-east end of Nathaniel Crichlow Drive at Realspring, Newsday met Kurtleigh Teague just after lunchtime as he kept a worried eye on the continuing rainfall amid reports of floodwaters encroaching into the yards and houses of residents nearby in areas that were more low-lying.

He lamented the plight of those neighbours who he said had been flooded out, especially in areas of the housing development referred to as phases two and three.

"Down there is a mess. People lost things."

Teague reckoned that a lot of the floodwaters had not been caused by rain falling directly in the area but rather to the nearby Caroni River having overflowed its bank, bringing water to Realspring that had originally fallen in several other different areas.

"We are close to Caroni. This is Caroni overflow. Caroni burst its banks." Rain had fallen for three days, he said.

An HDC team drives through floodwaters in Oropune Gardens, Piarco, on Sunday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

Newsday visited the nearby Spring Vale Recreation Ground, whose turf was heavily soaked, but whose overall elevation spared the grounds from turning into a lake as had happened incertain abutting areas. Resident Kenny Rahaman said this was the first time he had seen floodwaters reach so high in that area. He blamed it on an accrual of water right there coming in from other areas.

By way of shouting, Newsday spoke to a middle-aged woman trapped in her home on Hugh Fraser Circular Road who freely recounted her experience but did not wish to give her name.

She lamented that water had begun to affect her.

"We had rain since last night and it hasn't stopped. Continuous rain. Because of that, the water keeps rising more and more, and it's in the yard now.

"It is not in my house, but there are houses on the other side where it is."

The woman reckoned that a nearby piece of landscaped land was now flooded with six foot of water.

"I'm hoping the tide is low, so the water will run off."

She said the local municipal corporation had invited affected residents to avail themselves of sandbags against residential flooding but lamented that because of the flooding she was physically unable to get out of her home to collect the sandbags.

At Oropune Gardens, resident and former national boxer Clifton Toppin told Newsday that in the worst-affected parts of the community, water had risen to a level equivalent to the height of his waist, saying he was five foot 11 inches tall. Newsday estimated flood waters to have risen to up to half of his height, or three feet high.
While not wishing to be critical of the Government which he viewed as trying significantly to do certain things, he nonetheless wished that they had dredged a nearby river which he thought had conveyed floodwaters into the community.

Flooding at HDC’s Real Spring Gardens Housing Development, South Valsayn, on Sunday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

Toppin said this year's flooding was not as bad as in the past.

"Since then to now things have changed a bit for the better.

"The only thing is that the pump did not come on early, so we are having a back up (of flood waters.) The river in the back needs dredging.

"For now all we are contemplating is that the river doesn't rise any more."

Toppin reiterated that the community needed some work with on its drainage problem.

"I'm asking, if in the dry season, the Government could attack drainage.

"I'm begging TT to stop littering. Stop throwing your old fridge, your old stove and your old car parts in the drain. That's causing clogging."


"Floods hit east Trinidad"

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