Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 7th 2016 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, October 7, 2016
RADHICA DE SILVA
After one hour of heavy rainfall,
a deluge of flood waters gushed
through La Romaine yesterday
washing away three cars into the
swollen Dumfries River and
destroying poultry and household
The floods came suddenly and
covered parts of Palmiste, Union
Hall and Bamboo Village shortly
after 1 pm.
The worst hit areas were Sun-
flower Drive and Arjoonsingh Trace,
The car park of V s Plaza at Union
Hall was covered in over three feet
of water, trees fell at Darsingh Trace,
Siparia, while the Gordineaux River
at Mosquito Creek spilled over onto
the Southern Main Road.
The owner of the submerged cars,
Ashram Boodoosingh, said he
parked his Nissan Note, Lancer and
a Toyota Corolla along Sunflower
Drive before the heavy rains started.
"Within a short space of time the
river started to gush. All I could see
were the hoods of the cars.
"One car got chocked on the
bridge and the other two got
chocked on each other, otherwise
they would have washed away com-
pletely," Boodoosingh said.
Saying the drains were not
cleaned and the inverts needed to
be widened, he called on Govern-
ment to construct better box drains
in the area.
After the deluge, a backhoe was
used to remove the cars from the
river while a wrecker transported
the vehicles to a nearby garage.
At Bamboo Junction, Jarvis
Amichan said the floods brought
snakes, centipedes and insects into
residents homes. About a dozen
ducks and chickens also drowned
in the raging waters.
"I killed snakes in my yard. The
water was about four feet high but
it went down quickly," Amichan
recalled. Kumar Jones, of Arjoon-
singh Trace, said his entire kitchen
and bedroom were inundated with
over four feet of water.
"This is the first time in a decade
I get flooded. I don t expect to get
any compensation but I will be
happy if I can get a little help with
my disability grant," Jones said.
A short distance away, Mannie
Ramroop and his colleagues, who
were preparing a nearby office for
occupation, had to run to salvage
their power tools when the floods
came. "We had to run to take off
the breaker because all the electrical
sockets were covered in water,"
Several vehicles stalled in the
floods, among them was a CRV
owned by Dr Jehan Ali. He also said
that poor drainage caused the floods.
"This also has to do with people s
attitudes to disposing waste in the
drains," Ali added.
A washing machine was seen
bobbing in the water while several
residents were seen waving from a
distance as their homes were com-
pletely surrounded by water.
By 3 pm, most of the water had
Office of Disaster Preparedness
and Management CEO Stephen
Ramroop yesterday blamed the
flooding that occurred in several
parts of T&T on climate change,
littering and poor infrastructure.
In a brief interview with the T&T
Guardian, Ramroop said: "There is
a lot of litter on the roadside and
in the city and it is collecting. The
climate change is causing water to
come up rapidly."
He said yesterday s weather sys-
tem was not related to Hurricane
Matthew but a western convergence
caused intense rainfall.
"This is rainy season weather. In
the years (past) we had landslides
all around this time and the weather
is anxious to give us trouble around
October and November.
"The chemistry allowed intensive
rainfall which caused the problem,"
He said there were reports of
vehicles stranded and heavy winds.
"That is part of the problem. We
are seeing this regulary. Over ten
and 15 years ago we never used to
have these troubles," he said.
He said, however, that there was
a lot of littering along the roadways
that was adding to the problem.
Pointing to garbage thrown on
the side of the roadway, Ramroop
said infrastructure over the years in
Port-of-Spain and environs had
also changed. He noted too that the
ODPM s funding had been cut and
its allocation was $20 million, which
was hampering its ability to operate
effectively. He said engaging the
private sector could assist it with
funding. "We don t need big funding
to tell citizens to clean around their
houses," he added.
by thunder and lightening, caused
people in Port-of-Spain to panic
yesterday, as the severe weather
resulted in flash flooding through-
out the capital.
What began as a clear, sunny
day was suddenly transformed by
midday as the rains poured down
for close to two hours, transforming
South Quay and other parts of
downtown Port-of-Spain into a
temporary river, bringing with it
piles of debris.
Pedestrians were also scampering
as they tried to make their way out
of the city. Some of them tried to
traverse the floodwaters cautiously
by sliding along the edge of build-
ings to reach the transportation
hub or using the elevated base of
iron fences to make it to dry
ground. Others, however, some lift-
ing small children, walked through
The heavy rains also resulted in
gridlock traffic in and around Port-
of-Spain as well as around the
Maritime Plaza, Barataria, where
high flood waters made it near
impossible for some vehicles to get
The T&T Meteorological Office,
which said thundershowers were
reported across east, central and
south Trinidad, last evening advised
citizens, particularly those in flood-
prone areas, to be on the alert and
to ensure homes and animals were
Head of the Office of Disaster
Preparedness and Management
(ODPM) Stephen Ramroop said all
regional corporations have been
placed on the alert.
"There are police officers on the
ground working and redirecting
traffic, especially where there are
traffic lights and where there is
heavy traffic and they are also
monitoring from the National
Operations Centre," he told the
T&T Guardian in a telephone inter-
While urging people to take pre-
caution, he also advised them to
get out of flooded areas as soon as
possible but to do so calmly.
"Don t panic. It s just rain and
heavy showers. Keep listening out
for alerts. This is just a typically
bad day in the rainy season," he
Electricity supply was knocked
out in La Romaine, Corinth, parts
of Princes Town, Guapo and in
north Trinidad, including Cascade.
Other areas also affected by power
outages were San Juan, St James,
Malabar and Carapo, T&TEC said.
The Met Office last evening
warned that there was the chance
of odd showers throughout the
PP in four
Between June 2010 and October
2010, approximately 10,000 people
were fired under the then People s
The revelation was made yesterday
by Minister of State in the Ministry
of Education, Dr Lovell Francis, dur-
ing his contribution in the budget
debate in Parliament.
sar s contribu-
said he had no
intention to "go
down a rabbit
hole" with the
since there were
matters to deal
with. He described Persad-Bissessar s
contribution as an "Alice in Won-
Francis said, however, that there
were a few things said by Persad-
Bissessar that he could not let pass
by.Of particular interest, Francis said
was the insinuation by Persad-
Bissessar that since the People
National Movement (PNM) came into
office one year ago some 20,000
people were sent home. He said the
PNM came into office under unfor-
tunate economic circumstances,
which resulted in many people losing
"There is no denying that fact."
He said, however, that Persad-
Bissessar had no evidence to sub-
stantiate her claims that 20,000 peo-
ple were sent home.
"Let us assume that the hon-
ourable member is correct... that
some 20,000 people have lost their
jobs. But let us compare that to the
circumstances under the previous
Waving a thick wad of documents,
Francis said he had a list of people
"who were fired... who lost their
jobs... who were removed by the Peo-
ple s Partnership government, not
between May 2010 and December
2010, but between June 2010 and
October 2010....10,000 people who
lost their jobs."
Francis said the documents had
the names of each person, the posi-
tion they held and the ministry they
The Moruga/Tableland MP said
in the last 13 months the nation had
been through the most difficult
"financial" turmoil in living memory.
He said Persad-Bissessar had no
comprehension of the circumstances
the country was now facing.
Gridlock out of Port-of-Spain
Littering a big problem, says ODPM boss
As flash flooding hits La Romaine...
Cars washed away
Motorists drive through flood waters along the South Trunk Road near Bamboo Junction, La Romaine,
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