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Clean up continues in worst hit areas

Monday, October 23, 2017

While Barrackpore and Moruga residents were busy cleaning and some businesses reopened, canoes and pirogues had to be used to access the stranded residents of Woodland and San Francique.

Yesterday marked five days since the Oropouche Lagoon and its rivers overflowed into residents’ home, due to prolonged rainfall from the passage of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.

Businessman Ashmead Mohammed, through his AshNad Foundation, used 10-tonne dump trucks, flatbed trucks and off-road vehicles to travel through the deep areas along Pluck Road. But to reach into the traces where elderly citizens had been marooned, they had to load meals and supplies onto canoes and boats. Mohammed, who sent out a challenge to contractors to adopt a river, said after praising God, it was everyman’s duty to help his brothers and sisters.

“What we did today was to distribute 2,200 lunches for the people of Mafeking, Penal, Debe, Woodland and Barrackpore. I had people in all those areas but I oversaw the Woodland community because it was the worst. The water is still three to four feet in some areas. Everybody knows the main road but there were some areas leading into San Francique, like Birbal Trace where the residents are totally cut off,” Mohammed said.

Siparia Regional Corporation chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh said he has not seen the active presence of the Regiment and the work of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management. Saying that the Woodland area felt like another country, he called for intervention from the various State agencies to kick in.

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal called on Government to deploy CEPEP crews to help clean flood-affected properties.

It was a horrible Saturday night for commuters living along the South West peninsula as the Mosquito Creek was closed. Many paid as much as $50 for a trip to Point Fortin as the alternative Pluck Road, Woodland route was also flooded. Drivers had to use the SS Erin Road which took up to one and two hours longer than usual.

By 11 am yesterday, the Ministry of Works and Transport contractors had pumped most of the water off the creek by bringing in additional pumps and the roadway was reopened. They were aided by the low tide; however, the drainage along the creek was blocked due to construction work on the Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension to Point Fortin. Meanwhile, the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road remained flooded and was closed off to traffic.


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