Education Minister: Some schools closed because of flooding

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly. File photo/Sureash Cholai

AS Trinidad and Tobago continues to face a yellow-level adverse weather alert, causing major flooding across the country, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said schools in affected areas have been making requests to dismiss early.

The Met Office said the weather alert would begin at 12 am on Wednesday and end at 12 pm on Friday.

Asked if the ministry will close schools owing to the flooding, she said, “Approval is being given upon request for schools in affected areas to close.

“Also, principals are allowing parents to collect their children from schools if required.”

Flooding has been reported in parts of Chaguanas, Arouca, Tacarigua, St Augustine, Tunapuna, Sangre Grande, among other places.

Commuters heading west on the Priority Bus Route (PBR) and Eastern Road in Arouca found themselves in floodwaters, as thundershowers drenched the area at about 10.30 am.

The lower part of Lopinot Road, near the PBR, was impassable. So too were access roads to Five Rivers Junction, forcing private and maxi taxi drivers to turn around and head east or find alternative routes.

“I reached Railway Road, and when I saw the water level rising, I parked and waited for the rain to lift a little before turning back,” one maxi taxi driver said as she picked up people standing under a bus shelter looking to return to their homes.

The maxi taxi driver said she was going home and hoped the weather would clear so she could make trips later in the day.

Another maxi taxi driver told passengers he was heading back east, asking them if they wanted to get out at the Lopinot Road intersection. Most said they would go with him.

There was gridlock as private drivers filtered onto the PBR.

A huge drain, near a main sewerage facility filled to capacity, threatening to spill over onto the PBR.

“I haven’t seen flooding in this area like this for years,” one woman said, as she took a maxi home.

In the residential community, Bon Air Gardens, streets began flooding in phase three, restricting movement for residents.

Some businesses, among them a bar, also flooded out.

On the highway, between Trincity and Macoya, drivers also turned around trying to escape the floodwaters creating a traffic pile-up.