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Christmas flood out

By STACY MOORE Friday, December 27 2013

click on pic to zoom in
Bad cut: Desmond Mohammed points to the cut on his forehead after he slipped attempting to get out of flood waters in Penal on Wednesday....
Bad cut: Desmond Mohammed points to the cut on his forehead after he slipped attempting to get out of flood waters in Penal on Wednesday....

IT was not the Christmas residents of Penal Rock Road, Penal, had planned.

As the nation continued to celebrate yesterday, villagers assisted by members of the Community Environmental Protection Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) were cleaning slush from inside their homes caused by flood waters.

On Christmas night the village was submerged in flood waters following torrential showers in the last few days starting on Tuesday, Christmas Eve.

By 11 pm Wednesday, Christmas night, the flood-waters rose close to five feet high throughout the village.

Many residents reported damage to their furniture and household appliances.

When Newsday visited the affected areas, families and CEPEP crews were shovelling slush and washing down homes.

CEPEP workers were called out to render assistance to the villagers. “This was some Christmas for us. It was a very merry Christmas I would say,” resident Stacy Jaiseree remarked sarcastically. The mother of three said she was “so frustrated that words could not begin to explain how she felt”.

“I did not want to spend the holidays with my husband and children in flood and cleaning slush from our home,” she said. She said many of her children’s school books and uniforms were soiled. Stacy’s husband, Desmond Mohammed, who has lived in the area for years said it was the first time he had witnessed extensive flooding. Desmond slipped and injured his head while trying to get out of the flood waters.

Nearby at Dil Mohammed Trace, Amela Sankar, said the flood waters started creeping into their home close about 11.30 pm on Wednesday. “I had no idea it would have reached to this far, until I could not see my brother’s bed. His bed was covered in water. But he was not at home at the time,” she related.

Sankar said she had looked forward to spending the holidays with her family and had cleaned before Christmas. “But here we are back again cleaning and we didn’t even get to enjoy Christmas,” Sankar said.

But for Sandra Jaisiree and her family it was a “story they had seen on many occasions”.

“Last Christmas it was the same thing and on many other days whenever it rains a lot, we experience flooding. So our Christmas was standing in flood waters, ” Jaisiree said.

“Watching our Christmas tree floating in flood waters tears came to my eyes because it was the same thing all over again, and I am really frustrated,” she said.

Farmers were also counting their losses, among them, Ivan Ramlal, who said crops from his garden washed away. “Last year I lost a duck and seven young ones and did not get nay compensation now this Christmas is crops, what will I do?” he asked.

Along Moolchan Trace, Sharda Ramraj said she was relieved the water had subsided but added “it was difficult spending the day sweeping out flood water”.

Daysie John, 63, said she was fed up.

“I living here eight years now. Every time it floods, you complain and nothing, so I don’t bother. I just wait for it to pass,” she said. The residents believe a lack of proper drainage and box drains were the causes of the flooding. The area was visited by Penal councillor Shanty Boodram and members of the Office and Disaster Preparedness and Management.

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