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Flash flooding hits north and south Trinidad

By NEWSDAY REPORTERS Thursday, August 18 2011

click on pic to zoom in
VERITABLE LAKE: This group of young men share a makeshift raft and play ion the flooded Tarouba playground caused when the river burst its bank and fl...
VERITABLE LAKE: This group of young men share a makeshift raft and play ion the flooded Tarouba playground caused when the river burst its bank and fl...

Several areas of south Trinidad, including Tarouba and Debe, were inundated by flood waters following heavy mid-day torrential rains yesterday.

The heavy rains caused a nearby stream to overflow it’s banks and transform the nearby Tarouba recreation ground into a virtual pond causing residents, who would otherwise use the ground for cricket and football, to construct a small boat and paddle across the ground.

According to Tarouba resident, Vishnu Frankie, the main culprit for the flash floods, which seemed to occur whenever heavy rains fell, was the clogged drains and the piles of overburden which had been dumped in close proximity to the stream.

Standing in almost two feet of water, Frankie said although the waters had not invaded his house, he had lost a significant amount of red sand in his front yard, which had also been transformed into a wading pool.

“It have some inconsiderate people who use that piece of land near the water course as a stockpile so when the rain falls, the water have to reach a certain height before it could flow into the river, and by that time it flows back into the road and into the houses,” Frankie said.

His neighbour, Asha Choon, was not so fortunate as the flood waters flowed into the downstairs apartment of her home, destroying her refrigerator, mattress and cupboards. “The water come up real fast so we didn’t get time to put the fridge on a height,’ she said, while standing forlornly in her downstairs apartment which also had almost two feet of water.

She, however, attributed the floods to poor drainage at the nearby housing development, saying this was a major contributor to the flooding.

“I live here for almost 40 years and we never saw this type of flooding until last year when the housing development was constructed,” she said, and pointed out that the family had been flooded out on three separate occasions last year.

“There is no proper drainage to take the water out of the housing development so all the water does come here and end up in our homes,” she said, adding the family would have to bail the waters out of her home using buckets. Cocoyea/ Tarouba councillor Darren McLeod, said he had visited the residents to render support and admitted that the flooding could have been prevented had the drains been cleaned since last year.

“This could have been avoided had the relevant government agencies acceded to my request to clean the drains, but that was not done,” a frustrated Mc Leod said. Meanwhile, Derrick Road, Lalbeharry Trace, Debe resident Surindra Ramroopsingh also attributed the flash floods to the poor drainage in the area.

He said the roadway had been rendered almost impassable over the past three days following heavy torrential rainfall.

“If it have ten minutes of rain, the whole road does flood for almost three hours,’ he said, adding, “we does get maroon in our homes because sometimes there is about three feet of water in the road.”

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