Storm brings month’s worth of rain in one day

Al­most an en­tire month’s worth of rain fell in T&T be­tween Sat­ur­day evening and yes­ter­day.

This was con­firmed by Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Util­i­ties Robert Le Hunte dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty’s Tem­ple Court yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.


“Putting it in­to con­text in Pi­ar­co for ex­am­ple for the month of Sep­tem­ber from the 1st to the 21st of Sep­tem­ber we had 89.8 mm of rain­fall. From 2 pm yes­ter­day to 3 pm to­day, one day, we had 71.5 mm of rain­fall giv­ing you a to­tal of 161,” said Le Hunte, who ex­plained that it was even greater in To­ba­go where mas­sive flood­ing was seen in part of Scar­bor­ough.

“If you look at what hap­pened in Crown Point with re­gard to the mea­sure­ment. In the case of Crowne Point, for the month up to the 21st of Sep­tem­ber you had 90mm of rain­fall, but for the par­tic­u­lar day from the 21st to the 22nd you had 132mm or rain­fall giv­ing you a to­tal of 222mm at Crown Pointe,” he said.

The min­is­ter ex­plained that usu­al­ly 171 mm of rain­fall is record­ed on the is­land in Sep­tem­ber, which meant that close to 80 per cent of the av­er­age rain for the month came in just about one day.

Min­is­ter of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Kaz­im Ho­sein said Diego Mar­tin, which had seen nu­mer­ous flash floods, had re­ceived the largest bat­ter­ing with 66 mil­lime­ters of rain record­ed be­tween 11 am and 1 pm.

Le Hunte said while the rains did go a long way to help­ing the sta­tus of our reser­voirs, many of which had been be­low 50 per cent of its re­serve, there was still a need for more wa­ter to bol­ster the lev­els.

The rains, which came as Trinidad and To­ba­go were un­der the in­flu­ence of the out­er bands of Trop­i­cal Storm Karen, caused flood­ing and left the coun­try at River­ine flood­ing alert lev­el red yes­ter­day evening.

“At 3 pm this af­ter­noon the Met Ser­vice raised us to red lev­el warn­ing for river­ine flood warn­ings.There has been a rise in our riv­er lev­els, we will con­tin­ue to mon­i­tor this in­to the night,” said Min­is­ter Stu­art Young, who al­so con­firmed that schools across the coun­ty would be closed as a re­sult of the river­ine warn­ing.

Min­is­ter of Works and Trans­port Ro­han Sinanan said three rivers in North Trinidad had burst its banks, with sev­er­al oth­ers in South Trinidad at their peak.

“At this point in time, the riv­er flood­ing, the river­ine flood­ing has ex­ac­er­bat­ed up to the point that most of our rivers are cur­rent­ly at their peak. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, we have three rivers that would have top­pled its banks, that is the St Joseph, the San Juan and the Diego Mar­tin and four the Mar­aval to some ex­tent,” said Sinanan.

Over 20,000 sand­bags were dis­trib­uted across the coun­try by var­i­ous re­gion­al cor­po­ra­tions.

Sinanan con­firmed there were re­ports of fall­en trees in Em­ba­cadere, Ma­yaro, St Joseph, Tu­na­puna, Ba­lan­dra, and To­co while land­slips were re­port­ed in La Sei­va and Co­corite. He al­so con­firmed re­ports of flood­ing in Diego Mar­tin, Cou­va, Tabaquite, San Juan, Barataria, Aranguez, San­ta Cruz, Ed­in­burgh 500, St Au­gus­tine along the East­ern Main Road and Mar­aval.

Le Hunte said there were 65 re­ports of pow­er out­ages in To­ba­go com­pared to 43 in Trinidad.

He said while they were able to re­duce the num­ber of out­ages in Trinidad to 28 by Sun­day evening, To­ba­go proved a bit more dif­fi­cult due to some ar­eas be­ing in­ac­ces­si­ble due to fall­en trees. He hoped that the ma­jor­i­ty of the out­ages would be ad­dressed by Sun­day night.

Le Hunte al­so ex­plained that the flood­ing al­so tem­porar­i­ly forced the shut­down of main wa­ter treat­ment plants in North Trinidad due to due to the tur­bid­i­ty in the wa­ter.

Reporter: Peter Christopher

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