Torrential showers have resulted in flooding in several parts of South Trinidad with watercourses overflowing, spilling water into streets and properties. There are reports of flooding at Rousillac, Palo Seco, Claxton Bay, San Fernando, La Romaine, Debe, Penal and Barrackpore, among other areas.
With the country under a Yellow Level Adverse Weather Alert, Penal Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC) Chairman, Dr Allen Sammy, anticipates that the flooding will worsen around midday.
In an interview with Guardian Media, Sammy said: “It continues to be bad, particularly in the Penal Rock Road area, but also we have found that there are floods in areas that don’t normally flood like La Romaine along the main road. That’s unusual but it happened last week also, so I don’t know if this is a shift in the weather pattern or what it has to do with climate change but certainly, something is happening in Penal/Debe in respect of new areas of flooding.”
However, Dr Sammy said traditional areas continue to experience flooding.
“So, the Penal Rock Road, which is drained by the Curamata River, which emanates in the southern range—as you know that road is on the foothills of the southern range. All the people who live along those traces and along the main road itself are negatively impacted by the flooding on the main road. It is low tide now at 10:31, but soon it will be high tide again, so I imagine as the water continues to come down from the hills, it is going to get worst by midday it is going to be very bad,” he said.
The PDRC chairman said the corporation is on high alert and on stand-by, in the event people need supplies or assistance.
“There have been no calls yet for evacuation or anything of that type, but we are standing by in readiness,” he added.
While the corporation has distributed sandbags, Sammy anticipates that if the rain persists the sandbags will become ineffective against the floods, especially with more rain expected over the next few days.
“We’re looking at homes now being inundated because the ground is super saturated. It means, therefore, that there is no ability for the soil to absorb any more water. It will therefore flow into people’s homes,” he said.
Dr Sammy warns that people, including farmers, could suffer millions of dollars in losses, not only to household articles but also crops and livestock.
“There is something that people are not measuring and that is the psychological damage that is being done to people over time and people now live in constant fear apart from living in fear of crime and bandits and so on, they now live in fear of flooding,” he pointed out.