Fear grips Greenvale residents

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