Floods hit East Trinidad

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Worried residents look on at flooding at HDC’s Real Spring Gardens Housing Development, South Valsayn, on Sunday. – SUREASH CHOLAI

LOW lying sections of Real Spring and Oropune Gardens housing estates were among the worst-hit areas of East Trinidad affected by flood waters on Sunday, amid a continuation of several days of ongoing drizzle.

At the south-east end of Nathaniel Crichlow Drive at Real Spring, Newsday met Kurtleigh Teague just after lunchtime as he kept a worried eye on the continuing rainfall amid reports of flood waters encroaching into the yards and houses of residents nearby in areas that were a bit more low-lying.

He lamented the plight of those neighbours whom he said had been flooded out, especially in areas of the housing development referred to as phases two and three.

“Down there is a mess. People lost things.”

Teague reckoned that a lot of the flood waters had not been caused by rain falling directly in the community but rather to the nearby Caroni River having overflowed its bank, bringing water to Real Spring that had originally fallen in several other different areas.

“We are close to Caroni. This is Caroni overflow. Caroni burst its banks.” Rain had fallen for three days he said.

An HDC team drives through floodwaters in Oropune Gardens, Piarco, on Sunday. – SUREASH CHOLAI

Newsday visited the nearby Spring Vale Recreation Ground whose turf was heavily soaked but whose overall elevation spared the grounds from turning into a lake as had happened for certain abutting areas. Resident Kenny Rahaman said this was the first time he had seen flood waters reach so high in that area. He blamed it on an accrual of water right there coming in from other areas.

By way of shouting, Newsday spoke to a middle-aged woman trapped in her home on Hugh Fraser Circular Road who freely recounted her experience but did not wish to give her name.

She lamented that water had begun to affect her.

“We had rain since last night and it hasn’t stopped. Continuous rain. Because of that, the water keeps rising more and more, and it’s in the yard now.”

“It is not in my house but there are houses on the other side where it is.”

The woman reckoned that a nearby piece of landscaped land was now flooded with six foot of water.

“I’m hoping the tide is low, so the water will run off.”

She said the local municipal corporation had invited affected residents to avail themselves of sandbags against residential flooding but lamented that due to the flood waters she was physically unable to get out of her home to go to travel to collect the sandbags.

At Oropune Gardens, resident and former national boxer Clifton Toppin told Newsday that in the worst-affected parts of the community, water had risen to a level equivalent to the height of his waist. Saying he was five foot 11 inches in height, Newsday estimated flood waters to have risen to up to half of his height or three feet high. While not wishing to be critical of the Government which he viewed as trying significantly to do certain things, he nonetheless wished that they had dredged a nearby river which he thought had conveyed flood waters into the community.

Flooding at HDC’s Real Spring Gardens Housing Development, South Valsayn, on Sunday. – SUREASH CHOLAI

Toppin said this year’s flooding was not as bad as in the past.

“Since then to now things have changed a bit for the better.

“The only thing is that the pump did not come on early, so we are having a back up (of flood waters.) The river in the back needs dredging.

“For now all we are contemplating is that the river doesn’t rise any more.”

Toppin reiterated that the community needed some work with on its drainage problem.

“I’m asking, if in the dry season, the Government could attack drainage.

“I’m begging TT to stop littering. Stop throwing your old fridge, your old stove and your old car parts in the drain. That’s causing clogging.”