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