“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” But this was not the sentiments of the residents of St. Helena, Caroni, Kelly and environs as the heavy downpour on Wednesday poured into the residents’ homes, without any warning and or signs whatsoever.
Being flooded for the second time in three (3) weeks, the residents of Caroni East are calling on the Ministry of Works and Transport’s drainage division to be more proactive in clearing major watercourses to prevent flooding. Residents are already financially constrained as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and can barely afford to cover their current losses.
Due to the lack of maintenance, the flood waters began to rise as early as 1:00 am on Wednesday and within an hour, some areas within the Caroni East Constituency were under four (4) feet of water.
Some residents of the Caroni South Bank Road assiduously and tirelessly moved their cars and pets to higher ground and raised their home appliances in order to salvage what was left from their 2018 flood experience.
As the flood waters forced itself in, all the residents could do was watch and pray.
Other residents were not so lucky, as they were forced to evacuate their homes, leaving their furniture, vehicles, livestock and business unattended too in order to save their lives. As one of the residents of Caroni East stated “there was no time to salvage anything, it all happened so fast.”
As some residents and motorists tried to traverse through the aggressive flood waters along the Caroni South Bank Road, they were not all spared.
One vehicle with an eight-month pregnant woman was besieged with heavy flooding and was swept away by the raging and fast-moving flood waters.
Thankfully, both the driver and passenger were rescued unharmed.
Although some may say that the residents along the Caroni South Bank Road should be accustomed to this by now, the wound only gets deeper each time.
While it may look like some residents embraced the said flood waters, all that they did was make the best of a bad situation as some cooked, limed and drank in the flood waters as they refused to leave theirs home unattended.
To date, hundreds of residents from the Caroni East Constituency are still struggling to adapt to the severe loss of property and possessions they suffered when the flood waters aggressively and without warning entered their homes.
Member of Parliament for Caroni East, Dr. Rishad Seecheran, and the Caroni East Office together with Local Councillor for St. Augustine South, Piarco/St. Helena, Richard Rampersad conducted site visits in several communities in the Caroni East Constituency. Relief hampers, prepared meals and water were also distributed to Constituents who were still underwater up to Friday morning who in return expressed their deep gratitude for the same.
– Kamla Phagoo