Diego residents face fear of flooding
Sunday, August 11 2013
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A car stands in flood waters on Princess Margaret Avenue, Petit Valley. ...
On the one year anniversary of havoc and distress caused by torrential showers, Diego Martin residents were yesterday alarmed to discover the Diego Martin river had overflowed its banks as a result of rainfall which began around mid-morning and continued throughout the afternoon.
Last year’s torrential showers had triggered flooding in Diego Martin when the river overflowed its banks, causing residents millions of dollars in losses.
Two persons - Solomon Britto, of Richplain and Everold Bentham of Upper La Puerta - were killed when mudslides covered their homes. Scores of persons also experienced damage to their homes.
The Diego Martin Regional Corporation had estimated that assistance to distressed residents as well as the overall clean-up exercise as more than $100 million.
By 2 pm, yesterday, the river was filled to capacity and overflowing — the flood waters carrying plastic bottles, garbage bags, bamboo, tree branches and trunks, and even an old refrigerator.
Police officers halted traffic into Diego Martin via the Diego Martin Highway at the intersection with Crystal Stream Avenue because of flooding, causing a traffic pile-up as cars were diverted to Crystal Stream, proceeding to the Diego Martin Main Road.
Crystal Stream, which normally allowed for a single flow of traffic, was converted into a two- way route.
Tenders from the Four Roads Fire Station also responded to reports of cars trapped in flood waters.
In an interview in May, Chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation Anthony Sammy said underground drains were to be cleaned as part of the “regular cleaning cycle.”
However, work on several watercourses was yet to be undertaken, Sunday Newsday learnt.
Main water courses fall under the purview of the Drainage Division of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.
Sammy said then that the corporation would use $650,000 from its budget to deal with 45 main water courses which had been identified for attention.
Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services yesterday said Trinidad and Tobago was not under any tropical storm threat, watch or warning but that the periods of heavy rain and showers were the result of an Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.
“Noting the amount of rainfall that has occurred and the forecast for the continuation of this rainfall activity, rivers of moderate carrying capacity can become overwhelmed,” the Met office said.
The Met office advised that citizens be vigilant and cautious when conducting their activities.