When flood waters began rising at the Poodai Lagoon in Penal today, two teenage friends decided to use an inflatable bed to float down the flooded street.
But when the bed got a hole and sank, residents of Satnarine Trace and Ramsingh Trace mounted a manhunt believing that the teenagers had drowned.
Distraught mother Adina Pardassie broke down in tears. However, more than an hour later the boys arrived home, oblivious to the panic they caused in the community. They had gone to another friend's home, one mile away, to pump back up the inflatable bed. Afterwards, they floated back to Ramsingh Trace where they live.
One of the teenagers said it was tempting to float down the street although they knew the inflatable bed had a hole.
Looking worried, he said, "We patch up the hole a little and then we left. It started to leak. We didn't know people were looking for us."
Pardassie, in an interview, said she was relieved the boys were safe.
"People kept coming to the house asking if they were found. It was the worst feeling ever," father Devanand Pardassie said, adding they were worried because the floods were as high as 10 feet in the lagoons.
Another resident, Anand Rameshwarsingh, said while they were happy the boys were safe it was important for residents to know they should not venture into flood waters. He said whenever it floods villagers go out to fish for cascadura.
"When the boys went missing people started to go into the lagoon to search for them. We brought in kayaks and used rafts. We are relieved they are ok," he said.
Several manmade rafts built with wooden boards and barrels were seen at the side of the Rochard Road and Clarke Road, Penal. At Kanhai Trace, Barrackpore, a villager was seen playing with a toy boat in the floods. Up to midday, most of the Oropouche Basin at Penal, Debe, Barrackpore and Woodland were impassable.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness has advised citizens not to enter floodwaters as it could be dangerous and contaminated with sewage.
- by Radhica De Silva. Photo by Kristian De Silva.