Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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BREAKING NEWS: More flooding hits Diego Martin
A second round of flash flooding hit Diego Martin and other neighbourhoods in northwest Trinidad this morning, after the feeder bands of Tropical Storm Isaac produced several hours of thundershowers and steady rainfall overnight.
This morning’s events will come as a harsh blow to residents and businesses still recovering from the earlier disaster-level flooding and landslides. On August 11, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar declared the north-west peninsula a disaster area after landslides claimed the lives of two Diego Martin men, leaving roads impassable in many areas and knocking out basic utilities in others. Chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Anthony Sammy, at that time estimated the cost of damage and infrastructural loss in the Diego Martin area and surrounding communities to be over $100 million.
CEO of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Dr Stephen Ramroop, this morning warned commuters not to travel into Port of Spain, as flash flooding had caused heavy traffic along major roadways to the capital.
Works Minister Emmanuel George advised Diego Martin residents to stay indoors for their personal safety.
Eyewitnesses across Trinidad reported heavy rains, flooding, land slippage and severe traffic congestion.
At Morvant junction, the Malick and Morvant rivers broke their banks from as early as 5 am.
In downtown Port of Spain, early commuters were reportedly stranded in the City Gate transit centre, unable to get to work or return home until about 9 am.
In Barataria, a fallen tree downed power lines near the roundabout in front of Maritime Plaza. T&TEC linesmen were seen working on the downed line at about 10 am.
The Port of Spain to San Fernando fast ferry service was also cancelled this morning, as sea conditions were deemed to rough to travel as a result of the weather activity caused by the TS Isaac.
However, T&T is not under any tropical storm threat, watch or warning, the Met Office has advised.
TS Isaac is now in the Caribbean Sea, barreling down on the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and Florida, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.