Bad weather brings other threats to south and central Trinidad

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

WHILE several parts of south and central Trinidad experienced flooding on Friday, there were other threats brought on by the heavy rains.

Reports from the regional corporations said some areas had landslips, fallen trees and utility poles and damaged homes.

The Penal/Debe Regional Corporation reported flooding of three homes, two fallen trees, one collapsed utility pole and street flooding.

At the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, 72 sandbags were distributed to residents in flood prone areas.

Reports there indicated that a tree fell onto the Waterloo Hindu Primary School and destroyed several electricity lines. The disaster management unit said T&TEC was contacted, the line was secured, and the tree cut. There was also minor flooding and a partially collapsed home.

The Princes Town Regional Corporation reported roof damage to two houses caused by wind and rain and another roof was destroyed by a fallen tree, all at Perry Young Road.

The corporation said assessments were done and tarpaulins distributed as a measure of temporary relief.

On Thursday, the Met Office issued a yellow-level adverse weather alert and despite it being discontinued on Friday afternoon, it warned of medium thunderstorm activity and winds.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on Friday afternoon, Works and Transport minister Rohan Sinanan addressed concerns about the ministry’s readiness for the rainy season which officially began on May 16, and the hurricane season started on June 1.

He said 396 desilting projects were identified for this fiscal year, of which 218 projects were completed and 178 projects were projected to be completed with additional funding being allocated.

Sinanan said the annual desilting projects were categorised into four stages and were not executed based on constituency but rather geographic location.

He said most critical projects under phase one and critical projects under phase two were completed, while phases three and four were ongoing.

“The history of the Ministry of Works, the history of the drainage division, is that during the financial year, there is a programme of work that has to be completed and that is why the programme is broken down into four categories.

“The most critical, critical and so on. The programme will be completed within the financial year, and it is programmed in such a way that the areas that would have been clean in phase one will be revisited in the third and fourth phases.

Additionally, Sinanan said the drainage division has ensured that all pump sites were equipped with functioning pumps, both mobile and stationary and in areas of ongoing work there were mobile pumps stationed in the event of major rainfall.

He added the ministry was on track with the programme which will be completed within the financial year.