Rivers and watercourses will have to keep being cleared to prevent a repeat of yesterday’s muddy flash flooding in Port of Spain and parts of West Trinidad.
A heavy downpour caused Downtown Port of Spain, Cascade, St Ann’s and Maraval to flood in minutes.
Works Minister Rohan Sinanan, who was on his way to Cascade to assess damage to a bridge which had collapsed, told the Express there has been an emphasis on clearing and dredging of river courses, which resulted in a “quick run-off” of water.
He also said they will continue to ensure the rivers are cleaned and cleared, going forward.
Sinanan said in a phone interview: “A heavy downpour affected areas like St Ann’s, Maraval and Cascade. It lasted about half an hour. The water courses were cleaned before, so there was a quick run-off. The water came from the mountain. “The East Dry River was cleared. And the water came down about 100 feet from it. The channels overflowed. We have to continue to clean the water courses.”
He added: “We had a lot of mud, debris and rubbish on the roadway. The ministry has mobilised. We are going to work throughout the night to bring about some normalcy. There has be more emphasis on cleaning the rivers...”
Contacted by phone yesterday, Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez said of the impact of the rains: “Based on all the evidence, we have had tremendous flooding throughout East Port of Spain. Areas like George and Nelson streets were affected.
“The streets are like murky ponds. We had flooding on South Quay and the bus route. East Dry River burst its banks. A lot of debris flowed throughout the city. We are trying our best to have it cleaned up.
“In a situation where there is flooding, there would be damage to property and heavy mounds of mud. Tree trunks were uprooted. Big bamboo was floating in the road. There would be damage to the roadway.”
Martinez said there was a heavy deluge in Maraval and nearby areas. “A lot of water came rushing down from the Maraval and St Ann’s hills.
“It affected the neighbourhoods in the areas like Maraval, Cascade and St Ann’s. There (was) a lot of water damage and flooding which would have affected people’s property,” he said.