Talk, talk and more talk. That is all Glencoe resident Gerard Pinard and others believe they have been getting from government agencies since flood waters ravaged their community and the Diego Martin area last month. Pinard’s house and sections of his property are now in danger of being washed away should there be another flood. A drain, a bamboo patch and areas of the land behind his house are lying on the river bed since the drain collapsed under the flood waters and broke into concrete slabs.
In an interview yesterday at his home on Holder Drive, Westvale Park, Pinard said: “It was waiting to happen weeks now, and the corporation (Diego Martin) has work. It is just talk, talk, and now I doubt something will happen until the house is in the river.”
He said his family had written to various ministries and organisations since 2004 asking them to fortify the back of the premises abutting on the river. “The squatters have pushed the river closer to the property and we were told it will take $250,000 to repair it,” he said.
Jennifer Deonarine, Pinard’s business consultant, said several years ago they were told to pay $13,000 for binding wire to make gabion baskets that would protect their property, which they did. The baskets would have reinforced and protected their premises from rising flood waters in the river. “It is a convoluted back and forth. Seven people came here, and nothing happened. Everything is now down the river and everything is at risk. All my tanks and animals. Here are the receipts where we paid for the wire to reinforce the baskets,” she said, pointing to several documents. “The line from my washer and dryer is exposed. We have called everybody. It is horrendous what is going on and what is going to happen next,” Deonarine said. Meanwhile, John de la Rosa said he was trying to do everything in his power to stop another house and tonnes of dirt collapsing onto his home. De la Rosa said six tonnes of dirt were carted away from outside his house after the flood last month. The house belonging to the Waterman family and their driveway, which is on a hill above his property, are in danger of being washed away. “The dirt came down on a Saturday and by the next Thursday we had cleared all the debris here. My Nissan Bluebird was sent for repairs. They sent people to assess the situation and we were given a degree of priority. He (Mr Waterman) can’t drive close to the edge of his driveway. There is no telling what can happen,” he said.
Noting that the hurricane season was still on, De la Rosa said he was clearing away trees and other debris that could damage his house. Works Minister Emmanuel George said the ministry is processing the information to address the problem. “There is work to do and work is going on, one at a time. We are trying to do things and we have a process to go through. Because you don’t see anything happening doesn’t mean that is what is going on. Things will happen and we are also going through the process of funding,” George said. A statement from the Diego Martin Regional Corporation said: “Mr Pinard’s house is being compromised at the back due to erosion. The Diego Martin Regional Corporation is working with the Drainage Division which now falls under the Ministry of Water and the Environment to rectify this. They have identified a solution and plan erecting a 40-metre long by four-metre high wall to look after this particular area affected, including Mr Gerard Pinard’s property.” Chairman of the corporation Anthony Sammy advised: “While the Emergency Operations Centre has been reformatted to recovery and restoration committee status, we are still having regular briefings with all relevant agencies, eg Ministry of Works, URP, CEPEP, WASA, Drainage Division and others in our continuing efforts to improve current conditions within the region.”