Last update: 11-Dec-2013 1:52 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Removal of mangrove caused flooding
What goes up must come down and what comes down must wend its way to the place where it can ascend again to complete the natural cycle. Any bottlenecking along the way will generate a backup and introduce unnecessary, widespread disturbance and misery, as occurred in Diego Martin and Petit Valley.
The floods which ravaged Diego Martin were caused by the elimination of the huge mangrove delta—west of Cocorite, between Morne Coco Road, Four Roads and the Gulf of Paria—which easily accommodated every drop of water the Diego Martin River brought down following a tropical thunderstorm; the river herself was v-shaped.
Instead of the wide basin and permeable soil, there’s now compacted earthfill; most of it is asphalted and covered with concrete buildings, so there’s nothing the water can do but sheet off the surface. All of it is “drained” by an inadequate number of box-shaped concrete ditches which empty into an inflexible, undersized, concrete channel—the former Diego Martin River. With nowhere to run, surging floodwaters back up and spill over the banks in the higher reaches where nature never intended for them to be emptied.
The Diego Martin River needs to be widened considerably for its last few kilometres so it can properly handle storm water. Once the Westmoorings bottleneck is eradicated, flooding will be considerably reduced or altogether eliminated. The same solution applies in other parts of T&T similarly affected.
Balmain Village, Couva
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