Rains raise fear of floods
Tuesday, August 13 2013
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FLOOD FEAR: Michael Halls points out the two cylinders at Richplain, Diego Martin, through which waste water flows and which could be blocked in a flo...
WHEN heavy rains began to fall in Diego Martin on Saturday, Michael Halls feared that he and his family would be flooded out similar to August 11 last year. On that fateful day the flood waters destroyed his side wall and he lost a refrigerator, mattress and other items.
Halls said, however, they only experienced minor flooding this time.
“The reason why we didn’t get the same type of flooding is because nothing, like no debris, no heavy...log and fridge and stove and thing didn’t come down and block the two cylinders. That’s how the water kept on normal passing through. But if it had a big log and fridge and whatever it would have blocked the passage of the water and from there it would have start to rise rise rise and come back up,” he said. When Newsday visited his home at Farm Home yesterday, Halls showed the large drain next to his house and the two cylinders through which water flows. He said the cylinders in the drain cannot take the volume of water from further up the hill and the authorities should make it a larger area to allow the water to flow freely. He said they had been visited by Government officials but so far no work has been done.
At the opening ceremony for the Diego Martin layby yesterday, chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Anthony Sammy, said following the flooding on Saturday they were able to restore normalcy by 11 pm. He noted that bottles, boxes, pieces of wood and tree cuttings were among the debris coming down in the river and he urged citizens not to dump into the waterways. He said he was pleased that the Works Ministry had been clearing waterways and underground drains. National Security Minister Emmanuel George, who also attended the ceremony, attributed the flooding in the Chuma Monka, Tru Value supermarket and other parts of Diego Martin to the cutting of the hills, and there were areas “as bald as my head.”
Yesterday, Diego Martin West MP and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley told the media following the ceremony that he was concerned about a repeat of the devastating floods of previous years.
“Well I hope that what happened Saturday isn’t a reminder of what is likely to happen. We are very nervous that some works that were to be completed have not yet been completed. And we are still prone to flooding. We do have some hillside problems as the (National Security) minister pointed out. And hopefully our concerns (will) be found to be unfounded,” he said. He noted that the mouth of the Glencoe River is “heavily silted” and he had been making representation for it to be cleared during the dry season and the rainy season is now here.
“It is possible that we could have flooding down there again if the clearance is not done. Work is to continue and hopefully it is completed before we get the rains that will cause flooding,” he said.
He noted there were also concerns in the Richplain area where work had been started “very late”, pointing out that it is very difficult to do water course construction work during the rainy season.
“But all of the dry season nothing was done and people are very nervous we could again experience what we experienced in 2010 and 2011. So we are not as optimistic as the chairman that all the clearance has been done,” he said.
He noted that it was “not too late” and hopefully Government will get it all done before the threatening rains. He said there was a budgetary allocation of $30 million for flood abatement countrywide and at his last check in the Parliament all of the money was spent “and none of it was spent in the constituencies in which PNM constituencies exist.”
He expressed the hope that correction works will take place “so they will not experience flooding like...we experienced before.”