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Heavy rains, floods take toll on T&T

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Residents of an apartment building in Paradise Gardens, Tacarigua, step gingerly into their yard which was flooded by a heavy torrential downpour yesterday as a tropical depression skirted Trinidad and Tobago which caused the Caura River to overflow its banks. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER

The homes of residents across the country were flooded, power was lost at the ANR Robinson International Airport as a huge tropical disturbance began affecting Trinidad yesterday afternoon. Five families in Paradise Gardens, Tacarigua, had to seek alternative accommodation last night  as waist-high water entered their homes around 3 pm yesterday.


Guardian Assistant Features Editor Carol Quash was among the affected residents. Quash said her brand new fridge was flooded out as the water reached more than three feet inside her house as the nearby Caura River overflowed its banks. She said she never experienced any flooding like the one yesterday.


Councillor for Caura/Paradise/Tacarigua district Prakash Barath said it was “a major disaster” in the community. He said officers from the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation were on the scene immediately to assist the affected families. He said they refused food supplies and other items such as mattresses as several appliances were damaged by the flood waters. He said loses were being estimated but were expected to be very high.


Barath said the river was recently widened but because of the amount of rainfall yesterday, it overflowed its banks and even a small wall that was constructed recently.



Another resident Beverly Peters, who only returned home last week, said she was awakened by a call informing her of the flooding. She said fire officers had to rescue her and her young son from the raging flood waters. She said she had to climb over her wall to leave her home. She said fire officers had to help her son to safety.


The residents are calling for a retaining wall to be constructed. She said that was promised years ago and nothing had been done. She said she lost several new appliances she bought for her home. Meanwhile, the power supply was lost in the ANR Robinson International Airport around seven o’clock last evening.


Sources say this happened as BW 1530 from Piarco was en route to Tobago. The power supply was restored minuteds later, the T&T Guardian understands. Caribbean Airlines was also forced to cancel flights to Barbados yesterday as a result of the weather condition.


The weather system brought heavy mid-afternoon rain, flash and street flooding in Tacarigua, Maloney Gardens, San Fernando and Rio Claro. Officers from the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service were among the first respondents to assist in cleaning up operations.


From early yesterday, the Meteorological Services were issuing advisories for citizens to take all the necessary precautions as a tropical wave, Rafael, was approaching the region. The latest bulletin issued yesterday afternoon by the Meteorological Services said a broad area of low pressure associated with the active tropical wave which was “moving slowly acrosss the Eastern Caribbean.”


“Trinidad and Tobago is being affected by the presence of this system which is producing moderate, at times heavy, showers with occasional thundershowers, some of which have reportedly been intense. Similar conditions could be experienced into evening/night,” the Met Office added. The Met Office advised citizens “to be vigilant and cautious given forecast weather conditions.


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