Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 1st 2018 Contents news A3
Monday, January 1, 2018
Hosein: Illegal dumping to blame
RADHICA DE SILVA
Local Government Minister Kazim
Hosein brought in a heavy duty
pump to channel flood waters out
of several villages yesterday after
the Caroni River burst its banks
sending flood waters through the
El Carmen, Cunupia, St. Helena,
Manuel Congo, Caparo, Flanigan
Town in Couva, Tunapuna and
Caroni were among the affected
areas. Parts of Trantrill Road were
“The Caroni Police Station near
the K9 Unit had water a short
while ago but we have brought in
a big pump to channel the water
flow,” Hosein, who is currently
acting as Works Minister, said.
He said illegal dumping had
contributed to the floods.
“When we looked at the Caroni
River today we saw all kinds of de-
bris, including old fridges, stoves
and washing machines,” Hosein
The minister said arrangements
would be made for a pump to
channel water from the Oro-
pouche Basin, the source of wide-
spread flooding in Woodland.
“I am calling the Director of
Drainage to organise that. So far
the rain has held up but we will be
continuing to tour areas of Princes
Town, Moruga and Mayaro,” he
Hosein said he plans to meet
with Works Minister Rohan Si-
nanan to see whether contrac-
tors can be mobilized to clear the
water courses. He appealed for
volunteers to assist affected resi-
Met Office: More floods likely
Hundreds of residents of flood-prone com-
munities across Trinidad were forced to cel-
ebrate New Years while marooned at their
homes after floods failed to recede yester-
day following days of heavy rains.
The T&T Meteorological Service (TTMS)
issued a riverine flood alert around midday
warning citizens near to the tributaries of
the Caroni, Cipero and Oropuche Rivers to
brace for further flooding caused by con-
tinued rainfall between last night and this
“With reduced rainfall accumulation still
forecast to be in the range (15 – 30) mm in-
cluding anticipated run-off, riverine flood-
ing continues, especially in low-lying areas.
Citizens in general, and those residing along
the Caroni River Basin in particular, are
asked to be on the alert for further over-
spill,” the Met Office said
Noting that riverine flooding was more
prolonged and widespread than street and
flash flooding, the Met Office said the Water
Resources Agency had indicated that the
nation’s rivers were slowly receding but still
exceeding bank-threshold levels.
When a news team from the T&T Guard-
ian toured communities in St Helena, Ca-
roni and Las Lomas yesterday afternoon,
many residents had already abandoned
hopes of cleaning their properties in time
for New Year celebrations a few hours later.
Residents said although water levels had
dropped a little between Saturday night
and yesterday morning, they had already
resigned themselves to the possibility that
they could rise again.
“We not bothering to start to clean up as
yet because we hear Sangre Grande still has
water and that have to come by us,” Bene-
dict Doon, of Madras Road, St Helena, said.
Doon said he was able to escape major
damage to his vehicle as he elevated his
garage after his family was devastated by
flooding three times last year. However, he
was unable to leave as the road in front of
his house was only accessible to drivers of
pick-up trucks and SUVs.
His neighbour, Salima Rahim. was not as
lucky. The kitchens in her two storey home
are located on the ground floor.
“All we cupboards and everything in
them mash up. We really can’t celebrate an-
ything today,” she said.
Teenagers Aleem and Nazir Mohammed
were among a group of young people in the
community seen casting nets in the flood
waters in an attempt to catch cascadoo
which had escaped from a near-by private
“Our houses totally flood out but is Old
Years so we have to do something to try and
enjoy ourselves,” Aleem said.
Some residents were seen and heard dis-
charging fireworks as they waded through
the flood water in front of their homes.
Amit and Maria Maharaj, from Las Lomas,
celebrated their wedding anniversary inside
their elevated home which was surrounded
by s foot of flood water. The couple said that
they attempted to bail out the water using
buckets but soon gave up as their realised
that their efforts were futile.
“As soon as we get rid of some of the
water from inside, the water rising higher
outside,” Maria said.
She went on: “Even though it flood out
we still had a lime yesterday for my birth-
day and today for our anniversary.”
Residents claimed they contacted the
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Man-
agement but no officials came to assess
the damage. They also claimed they had
submitted applications for flooding relief
grants through the Ministry of Social Devel-
opment after the flooding in late October
and are yet to receive any assistance.
“We went and signed up after the last
time but nothing ever happen. We not wast-
ing our time again, we have to take care of
ourselves,” Rahim said.
The flooding also occurred along Golden
Grove Road in Arouca, near to the runa-
way of the Piarco International Airport.
However, while some cars and low vehicles
were forced to turn around, the floods did
not affect landing aircraft as the runaway
Madras Road resident Nazir Mohammed rides his bicycle through flood waters yesterday.
PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ
Rishi Siew, disaster coordinator from the Rural Development Company and acting Works Minister Senator Kazim
Hosein examine a 12 inch pump in Caroni, yesterday.
PICTURE SHASTRI BOODAN
The Ministry of Works and Transport
temporarily closed the North Coast Road due to
multiple landslides yesterday. In a press release,
the ministry said the road was closed to the
general public and residents as personnel are
working on clearing the road.
“ This has become necessary as all excess
materials to the top of the slopes have been
pulled down and is temporarily blocking the
road way on both lanes,” the release said.
The closure comes two days after the road was
temporarily closed due to another landslide
last Friday morning. The ministry said that it
would announce when the work was complete
and the road reopened.
NORTH COAST ROAD CLOSED
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