Yellow weather alert: Rain strands commuters at City Gate

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pedestrians wait to cross the road at the intersection of South Quay and Henry Street. – Paula Lindo

Scores of commuters and pedestrians were stranded on Tuesday afternoon as rain associated with a weather system affected TT caused flooding along South Quay between Broadway and Charlotte Streets.

Commuters exiting bus route maxis directly into the terminal were greeted by a leaking roof on the left side of the corridor. Many were then halted at the exit on South Quay, as many were perturbed at the thought of crossing the road not knowing the depth of the water, as well as arriving at work in wet clothes.

Some people were seen wading through the water which was almost knee-deep in some areas. Those who attempted to cross by walking towards lower Charlotte Street were not able to make it to the pavement, and had to walk along the middle of the road until they were able to see the sidewalk at the bottom of Henry Street.

The water was almost as high as the doorways of the shops which face City Gate. Some pedestrians on the corner of lower Henry Street were heard saying they were afraid to cross the water as they were unable to determine the depth and were afraid of falling.

A group of pedestrians brave the floodwaters at the intersection of Henry Street and South Quay. – Paula Lindo

The waters began to recede halfway up Henry Street, and vehicles turning onto the street from the Promenade were seen reversing to avoid it. It was evident there had been high water levels in streets higher up, and water was still running fast through the drains.

The Met Office said TT is under a yellow level adverse weather alert which began at noon on Tuesday and is expected to last until Wednesday at 6 pm.

“Instability associated with a low-level trough and favourable atmospheric conditions can result in a high (70 per cent) chance of heavy showers/thunderstorms. These conditions are expected to persist intermittently over the period, with a few settled periods accompanied by light rain. Heavy downpours can lead to the threat of isolated flash flooding events that may cause temporary traffic disruptions. Gusty winds may be experienced in the vicinity of heavy downpours.”

The Met Service said people should be alert to cloud-to-ground lightning activity and should not venture into flood waters.

On Monday, it had said storms/thunderstorms associated with the trough were expected to last until Friday.

The Organisation for Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) said there were three reports of street /flash flooding in Port of Spain at Wrightson Road near the corner of French Street; Tragarete Road near Elizabeth, Colville, Victoria, and Picton Streets; the St. Ann’s Roundabout; and the Queen’s Park Savannah near Lady Chancellor Hill.

A woman attempts to cross South Quay at the bottom of Henry Street. – Paula Lindo

It said there was one report of flooding at Chow Quan Avenue in Diego Martin and in La Seiva Road Maraval. It said the floodwaters had receded in all areas.

The organisation said there were no reports of flooding in other areas of Trinidad.

In Tobago, there were three reported marine incidents from TEMA. One fishing boat reportedly sank but was pulled to shore, while assistance was given to another fishing boat. There was one incident of a boat which experienced difficulties and had to be anchored at an offshore rig off Trinidad’s coast.

In light of the adverse weather, the ODPM reiterated its call for everyone to continue to have emergency plans in place during the wet and hurricane seasons.