Los Iros, Erin under water after heavy rain

Tor­ren­tial rains caused by the pas­sage of a Trop­i­cal wave over T&T trig­gered flood­ing in the Los Ba­jos and Erin re­gion yes­ter­day.

More than 100 res­i­dents suf­fered ex­ten­sive dam­age to crops, live­stock and house­hold ar­ti­cles.

The worse hit ar­eas were Beach Road, Pa­lo Seco; Lam­or­rel Trace, #4 Road, #7 Road and sev­er­al ar­eas on the SS Erin Road near Los Ba­jos and Erin.

A trib­u­tary link­ing Num­ber 9 Vil­lage to Erin, which runs be­hind an elec­tri­cal shop be­long­ing to Radesh Ram­per­sad, broke its banks. The force of the wa­ter broke down a wall be­hind the shop.

Own­er Radesh Ram­per­sad said all of his elec­tri­cal equip­ment for dam­aged.

“I am so up­set right now be­cause my ex­pen­sive com­pres­sor, bat­tery charg­ers, drills and oth­er equip­ment got dam­aged by the wa­ter,” Ram­per­sad said. He added that last No­vem­ber he made com­plaints to the MP for the area Nicole Olivierre but noth­ing was done to dredge the riv­er.

“The wall fell be­cause of the amount of wa­ter that came from the back. It was over four feet and it brought all kinds of rub­bish in­to the shop,” Ram­per­sad said. He added that on­ly re­cent­ly he took a loan from a mon­ey lender to buy equip­ment af­ter he got a con­tract with Massy En­er­gies.

Chair­man of the Pa­lo Seco/Erin Jus­tice Com­mit­tee Vic­tor Roberts, who vis­it­ed the area, said the floods were caused by poor drainage and a lack of prepa­ra­tion by the Min­istry of Works to dredge the Los Iros Riv­er.

“I have been on the ground since 6 am and it is very sad to see so many res­i­dents suf­fer­ing. Right now peo­ple can­not get out of their homes,” he added.

Roberts said the Los Iros Riv­er had not been com­plete­ly dredged since 1995.

“The riv­er was sup­posed to be about 22 feet wide but in some places, it closed up to about 4 feet wide. There are big trees grow­ing in the riv­er. The Min­istry has done some work in a few places but it is not enough. The wa­ter can­not flow from the riv­er in­to the sea so it is fill­ing the res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties,” Roberts added.

A source at the Min­istry of Works said works were done on the Num­ber 9 Riv­er from the Los Iros Bridge to Erin. Clean­ing was al­so done from Los Ba­jos to Madoos­ingh Bridge.

Mean­while, floods were al­so seen around the Pa­lo Seco Sec­ondary School. Par­ents who had to re­turn text­books to­day were un­able to en­ter the school as the flood­wa­ters were too high.

Con­tact­ed for com­ment yes­ter­day, Olivierre said she has been tour­ing the af­fect­ed ar­eas.

“I have gone to Num­ber 9 Road and Dal­ly Vil­lage, Los Ba­jos. First re­spon­der agen­cies have been on site from ear­ly and we are hap­py to see that the wa­ter is sub­sid­ing rapid­ly,” Olivierre said.

Asked what kind of as­sis­tance could be giv­en to the res­i­dents, Olivierre said once an as­sess­ment is done, as­sis­tance will be giv­en. She al­so said some dredg­ing had been done on the rivers in the area.

Asked whether the dredg­ing work was enough, Olivierre re­spond­ed, “I don’t want to make a judge­ment on that.”

The Met Of­fice has put T&T on an Ad­verse Weath­er Alert #1 —Yel­low Lev­el un­til 2 pm to­day. The Met Of­fice has al­so warned there is a high pos­si­bil­i­ty of land­slides or land­slips along the North­ern Range.

- by Radhica De Silva

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