News of the official start of the 2019 rainy season resurrected fear among Greenvale residents, who were displaced after last year’s catastrophic floods.
Last October, over 400 residents’ homes in Greenvale, La Horquetta, were inundated with water following heavy and persistent rainfall activity. Arguably, it was the community most impacted at the time.
Seven months later, several residents have told Guardian Media they are still trying to piece their lives back together. In fact, some residents have not been able to move back into their homes as repairs continue.
One resident said, “Anytime time I hear rain, I jump up and yesterday it had a good bit of rain so we keep coming out and watching the drain to see if it fulling up with water.”
Another resident said even though rain fell for several hours, the water level in the river was at its highest yesterday since the October flood.
Having spent thousands of dollars to repair their homes, the residents said they can only hope that the engineering works done by the Ministry of Works and Transport as well as the Housing Development Corporation help prevent another disaster.
Some said they are not comforted by the height of the embankment and its ability to withstand several feet of water.
According to one resident, “What we thought they were doing was raising the two nearby bridges and the embankment where the water goes through but, what they did there may only last for about two years.
He suggested the authorities pattern the work that was done in the Bamboo area, which also suffered extensive damage last year.
In addition, he asked that boats be made accessible to residents of Greenvale, in the event their community is hit by another flood disaster.
Approximately TT$118 million was spent by the Government to provide flood relief.
Residents told us they were happy for whatever assistance was provided to them but noted the amount of funds received was insufficient to cover the costs for at least half of the damages sustained. Many of them also criticized the pace and quality of work done by the HDC.
One resident told us he is yet to have his floor tiles replaced by the corporation
Reporter: Bavita Gopaulchan