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Flash floods in Central
Several parts of Central Trinidad experienced flash flooding yesterday morning due to heavy consistent rainfall overnight. The rains continued for most of the day. Some of the areas that experienced flash flooding include Chaguanas, Chandernagore, Korea Village, Brickfield, Waterloo, Bank Village, Beaucarro, Freeport, Calcutta and Couva. Speaking with T&T Guardian via telephone, Waterloo resident Basdeo Jaimungalsingh called on the relevant authorities to work quickly in getting the drains in the district cleared of debris.
“Every time a little rain falls, the flood comes up. Too much of the drains and canals are clogged with bottles, food boxes, branches and nothing doing to have all the waterways cleared up,” Jaimungalsingh said. “This morning (yesterday) I had to go to the bank and do some other business and I could not go nowhere because no taxis working on the road because of the rain and flood.” A release issued by the Meteorological Office at 8.37 am yesterday advised that T&T was not under a tropical storm threat, watch or warning.
It added that the rains were associated with a Tropical Wave, which was interacting with the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) resulting in cloudy to overcast conditions with moderate to heavy showers and thundershowers. “The possibility of landslides/landslips and localised street/flash flooding may occur in heavy downpours. Gusty winds can be expected in the vicinity of showers and thundershowers.”
The Office of Disaster Preparedness Management (ODPM), as the lead coordinator of emergency management, in a bulletin issued at 10.15 am, put the first responder agencies (Fire Service, Defence Force and the municipal corporations) on alert. The ODPM has reminded all affected citizens to contact its customer care centre at 511 in the event of an emergency.
Speaking with T&T Guardian yesterday, Chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, Henry Awong, gave the assurance that the corporation was putting a number of measures in place to minimise, if not, alleviate, flash flooding within the region, including along the Couva Main Road. “We have an ongoing drainage programme where a number of the water courses and tributaries are being cleared. A number of contracts have already been awarded for this project.”
Awong said already the Couva and Exchange Rivers had been cleared of all debris. He recently concluded a tour of all sites in the region, along with officials from the Ministry of Works, Highway Division, Drainage Division and the PURE programme.