Flash flooding in East
...Chaguanas hit too
MASSIVE flash-flooding took Chaguanas, Curepe, St Augustine, Tunapuna and environs by surprise yesterday, following about two hours of heavy thunderstorms from mid-morning.
By the time the intermittent but intense showers cleared up around 2 p.m., the Caroni River and its tributaries were swollen and much of these areas were under water.
In Curepe, a few inches of water crossed the Southern Main Road at the junction of the Valsayn Intersection, causing traffic to back up across the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and heading south, back onto the Southern Main Road.
Off the Southern Main Road in Curepe, most of the major side-streets were severely flooded, with up to four feet of water in some areas, residents said after most of the water had subsided.
For close to an hour, teachers and pupils at the Curepe Government Primary School were marooned inside the building, the Express was later told.
Some residents saw their cars “floating” in the street with water up to the windows.
The filthy floodwaters invaded dozens of homes, many of which were locked up, their owners out to work, when the flooding occurred.
“My neighbour wasn’t home, we had to call him and tell him water looked like it went inside his house,” said one McInroy Street resident.
“We have had flooding on this side before, so I think a lot of people were prepared in that they don’t have appliances and so on the floor. But it looked like it was a bigger area this year that got water.”
The waters ran off quickly, however, leaving sludge and slime inches thick in yards, business places and on walls.
In St Augustine, the Eastern Main Road entrance of the University of the West Indies (UWI) went under water quickly, rendering it impassable to pedestrians for nearly a half hour.
On the Eastern Main Road, business people could be seen frantically sweeping their premises and checking for damage.
“This is the worst we had it for the last two years,” said Peter Dickson, an employee at an eating place.
“Luckily, we don’t store anything on the ground directly. What we will have to do now is spray the place this afternoon and tonight to keep out any vermin looking for refuge.”
In Tunapuna, the flooding appeared to be even worse, with rapidly rushing water overtaking the Main Road and most of the area on either side.
“This was the worst, we didn’t expect it this bad, just so,” said Sharon Cox, who runs a small roadside parlour.
The end of the flooding coincided with the start of rush hour, leading to hundreds of commuters crowding the various hubs and waiting for transport, with most of the taxis and maxi-taxis still stuck in traffic along the routes.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) received distress calls from parts of East and South Trinidad, as far as Point Fortin, CEO, Dr Stephen Ramroop said yesterday.
The ODPM was also looking to coordinate clean-up efforts in the aftermath.
According to meteorologist Oscar Lovelle, speaking from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service in Piarco, yesterday’s intense thundershowers are unlikely to re-occur this week.
This country has been experiencing the typical rainy-season pattern of clear morning and midday showers but Lovelle said yesterday’s downpour was a result of moisture-laden winds converging over the island.
Piarco recorded 27 millilitres of rain after yesterday’s intense burst, Lovelle said, but a higher volume may have occurred in those areas that saw flooding.
“Tomorrow we are expecting a much better day,” Lovelle said, adding that while there will likely be intermittent showers in the same pattern, these are expected to be much lighter.
The same can be expected for the rest of the week, he said.