Farmers suffered thousands of dollars in losses yesterday after their crops were destroyed by floodwaters which also caused havoc in several communities and homes in Mayaro and environs.
Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation chairman Hazarie Ramdeen said a team from the corporation's disaster management unit was out in the field helping residents."I have been receiving hourly reports. So far we have had reports of flooding in Guayaguayare, Mafeking, Rio Claro, Plum Mitan, Bristol, La Brea Village, Navet and other areas. They are giving out mattresses and trying to help where they can," he added.
In some places, after torrential rainfall, floods rose to waist-height.Vice-chairman Glen Ram said the corporation was also putting things in place to help some students of the Biche High School who were stranded. "It is bad," he said, but added an assessment of the losses and damage could only be done when the water dissipated.Mayaro/Guayaguayare councillor Kyron James said: "There have been numerous instances of flooding, more than I have seen in a long while."He said the Mayaro Secondary School was dismissed early after part of the road leading to the school caved in.
"I drove on the road but I am not sure about the integrity of it. If heavy rains continue, there many be a possibility that more of the road might cave in," he added.
Janice Williams, a resident of Mischier Road, St Ann's Village, said her daughter could not go to school."My whole washroom flooded out, my garage flooded out, it (floods) nearly reach inside my house. I put chairs on bricks. The water was waist-high. It only now start to go down," she said."We are fed up."That was the cry of Plum Mitan farmer Sumatee Sookram yesterday after floods destroyed hundreds of crops and affected over 100 farmers.She said her husband, Deosaran Sookram, tried to save their cucumber crop but to no avail.
This is not the first time the area's farmers have suffered losses because of flooding.They complained that not enough was being done to help them and even if they got compensation it was usually a lot less than their losses.Her husband said: "I in the cold in the flood about waist-high since 4 o'clock this morning trying to save the crops... is three acres. We put out real money and we will not make it back now. Cucumber going for $15 a pound. It expensive and hard to maintain."
He said he carried two pumps, a two-inch and a three-inch, to try to pump out the water but his attempts were useless."If they could put a big pump to help we pump out the water. We get flood plenty time," he added.Deosaran said there were also houses in the area which were surrounded by water.
Agencies warn of floods
The Meteorological Office issued a flood bulletin around 11.30 am, saying because of recent rainfall people would experience more prolonged and widespread street and flash flooding, as well as riverine flooding.Reports from the Water Resources Agency said some small rivers, particularly in north-eastern and central Trinidad, have overspilled their banks, while water levels in the large rivers were significantly high and might reach threshold levels as a result of expected run-off from the current rainfall.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM ) said it was in contact with all first-responder agencies (TT Fire Services, TT Defence Force and the municipal corporations) so that immediate assistance would be given if needed.There were reports of flooding at Mayaro and environs, Sangre Grande and environs, Oropouche and a landslide at Balandra Beach Resort.Affected residents can contact the ODPM's Customer Care Centre at 511.