Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 15th 2014 Contents A5
Saturday, November 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Hundreds of Mayaro and Sangre
Grande residents remained trapped
in their homes, schools were closed
and communities were cut off as flood
waters left a trail of chaos and destruc-
tion in East Trinidad yesterday.
Some families were evacuated, others
received mattresses and hampers, but
many residents who were adversely
affected could not get help even from
the regiment, as flood waters rose to
shoulder height in some areas.
Flooding began when rivers burst
their banks on Thursday after torrential
showers, and the water continued to
Members of the Defence Force, Fire
Service, Coast Guard, Office of Disaster
Preparedness and Management (ODPM)
and staff from regional corporations
were out in the field helping, but some
residents and local government repre-
sentatives felt help was too slow in
Residents of El Carmen, St Helena,
Caroni and Cunupia were also severely
affected as nearby rivers broke their
banks. People in seven communities in
Sangre Grande were under water, but
worst affected was North Oropouche.
Several communities in Mayaro were
also cut off, including Cedar Grove,
Mafeking, Chrysostom Trace, Log
Wood Trace, and Kernahan Village.
In an interview yesterday morning,
Tricia Adams, of inner Mafeking Road,
said she and her family, as well as several
other families, had been stranded in
their homes since Thursday.
"The water is very high. Some people
living in flat houses had to be evacuated
yesterday. Neighbours carried them out
in the back of their vans, but all they
could take was their clothes," Adams
"That was yesterday afternoon, but
today we cannot get in or out unless
you have a big truck. So whatever gro-
cery stuff we have, we have to make
"My house is on posts, but from yes-
terday to today the water has dramat-
ically increased, and if it continues at
this rate it will get into my house."
She said no one had come to help.
"We have no drinking water, because
the pipe connected to people s tanks
is covered by flood now. We have no
water in the tap. I am on my last bucket
"Right now I looking at somebody
tank floating across the water."
Videsh Ramadhar, who lives in Ker-
nahan Village, between Mayaro and
Manzanilla, said his community was
completely cut off since Thursday night
because of flooding on both sides. He
said on Thursday night they contacted
the ODPM, but up to yesterday morn-
ing no one had come.
"Right now the water is receding
slowly, but there is a lot of water in
the road. People are marooned in their
homes. Some people were in dire need
of assistance in terms of evaluation."
He said neighbours tried to help each
other as much as they could, but:
"Since yesterday children could not go
to school, people could not get to work.
No taxis working."
Rains bring destruction in East
Residents beg for more help
Hundreds of people were stranded
yesterday and had to be rescued by
trucks as several parts of Central
Trinidad experienced major flooding
during excessive rains.
A wooden house in Gordon Village,
Tortuga collapsed leaving its occupants
homeless and cesspits overflowed,
posing a health hazard.
Regional Corporation and the fire
service worked from Thursday
evening, when the flooding began,
throughout the night to bring relief
to thousands of affected residents.
The corporation s chairman Henry
Awong said he was still tallying figures
on how many people were affected.
He said affected areas included
Mamoral, Caparo, Todd s Road, San
Raphael and several parts of Cunupia
and Las Lomas. Awong said the over-
flowing Caparo River was the major
cause of the flooding.
"The river was dredged recently
and these areas did not flood for a
"However, the excessive rain caused
the river to burst its banks."
Other corporation workers were
kept busy distributing hampers and
mattresses to families whose homes
were flooded out.
Downtown Chaguanas did not have
major flooding but parts of nearby
Edinburgh 500, like Balmoral Park,
experienced flash flooding. Streets
were flooded out with water entering
residents premises. The water sub-
sided within a few hours and left bro-
ken pitch from the road in some parts.
"We are not ready for the
type of disaster taking place
here. This is a big one," Sangre
Grande Regional Corporation
chairman Terry Rondon said
"Seven communities affected
so far. Right now in North
Oropouche a lot of houses under
water, waist-high water, the
village cut off, hundreds people
In a telephone interview
yesterday morning, he said he
hired a truck and with the
assistance of two other men
was trying to evaluate people.
"My cry is, when will we be
prepared? We are not ready. We
need to have rubber dinghy,
soldiers, we need manpower
here in Grande. We need
shelters. The schools are closed.
"What we need is sandbags.
We have bags and no sand."
Rondon said the area needed
a disaster centre.
"We need proper funding for a
disaster centre in the East, to
cover from Toco. We need able-
He said around 3 am
firefighters had to evaluate
residents, including 14 children
and eight adults.
"They had to take them in the
recreation room in the fire
station. We taking them to the
civic centre now, but we have
five cots and not enough
He thanked and NGO, the
Foundation for the
Enhancement and Enrichment
of Life (FEEL), for suppling
mattresses. He said since
Thursday night he had heard
the army was on its way, but he
was still waiting for them.
When the T&T Guardian called
Rondon again a few hours later,
he said an ODPM representative
had arrived and was making
arrangements to help residents.
DISASTER CENTRE NEEDED
Rushton Paray said
made it to work
because of the floods.
"A huge amount of
traffic passes through
Mayaro in terms of
Mayaro water has
risen, so traffic cut off
on both sides."
The local government
representatives for two of the worst
hit areas in Mayaro lamented that
there were insufficient supplies and
resources to help residents.
Cocal/Mafeking councillor Brinsley
Maharaj said he had to hire a boat
on Thursday night to rescue an
elderly woman because the fire
service did not have a dinghy.
NO RESOURCES, SUPPLIES
public relations officer
Alfonso said army
helping people in San
Raphael, St Helena
But Mayaro was
inaccessible, he said.
"It's very serious.
We have sent out a
team there. The
feedback so far is that
they have not been
able to get there yet."
IT'S VERY SERIOUS
Stranded workers taken home by trucks
A mother carries her daughter through flood waters along the Caroni South
Bank Road, St Helena following overnight showers yesterday.
PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
A vehicle drives through flood waters along Manzanilla Road. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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