Several families living along the Arima Old Road in D’abadie are appealing to the Government to relocate them from the area, after they suffered massive flooding on Wednesday.
Itwaria Dookeran, 73, told Guardian Media on Thursday she has been living in the area for the past 40 years but she has never seen an extreme flooding event before.
On Wednesday, raging floodwaters were over eight feet high around Dookeran’s home. Luckily, her house was built on stilts, saving her from possible danger when the tributary running alongside her house burst its banks and flooded the area.
“I was upstairs and by the time I realised the drain was flowing over and I tried to come downstairs, the water was already reaching up to the top of the stairs,” Dookeran recalled.
She blamed the flood on a new development in the area.
“They grade off a whole hill to sell lots for houses and since that work start, we getting water higher and higher every year,” Dookeran said.
She said her nephew, Derick Pollard, came over when the water first started to rise and tried to assist in securing her belongings.
“My kitchen is downstairs and everything was just washing away, my gas tanks, table, chairs, wares, everything…I couldn’t do anything but watch,” she said.
For his kindness, however, Pollard nearly lost his life when the raging floodwaters washed him away. He was swept across the street and into the front yard of one of his nephews.
Pollard said his only thought during the ordeal was to find something to hold on to.
“I was looking for something to snatch, but the water keep pushing me and pushing me, is only when the water wrap me up around a coconut tree that my nephew was able to rescue me,” he said.
He sustained minor injuries but the incident left him and his aunt traumatised.
Dookeran said she attempted to grab onto Pollard before he was swept away.
“I was trying to grab him but he ended up letting go and going down, if I had hold on to him, I would have been washed away too,” Dookeran said.
Now, she wants those in authority to relocate her before this type of flooding happens again.
“I afraid for my life living here now, so many things I lost and it still could have been worse, I don’t want to live here anymore,” she said.
Dookeran said if she is relocated, the land she lives on can be used to expand the watercourse and prevent further flooding.
“They wouldn’t only be helping me but everybody in the village who getting water in their homes,” she said.
As she spoke, her daughter-in-law, Michelle Boodoo, was still tallying damage to her home. She also lives alongside the tributary and like Dookeran’s home, hers was built ten feet above the ground. Boodoo and her children were not at home at the time of the flood.
“I left work to come home, only to realise we couldn’t get in because the water was too high. We are afraid to stay in the house when rain falling now because if it come up and we home, we will be stranded inside,” Boodoo said.
Other residents were busy cleaning their homes but complained they had not seen Government officials.