Thirty-five families have been rescued from floodwaters in Penal, and several other families have managed to make their way out of danger to stay with relatives.
Confirmation came today from local government councillor for Penal, Shanti Boodram, who also is a flood victim, herself.
The Penal councillor told Guardian Media that many people have lost everything in their homes, as well as their crops, their livestock and their livelihoods to the raging flood waters.
Some families have lost everything in the flood waters
She told us that hundreds of people are still trapped in their homes, however, and that much of Clarke Road, Quinam Road, La Truce Road, and Naipalier Trace are still flooded out.
Shanti Boodram said only high vehicles are able to access certain roads in Penal and since Wednesday, productivity has been low as many businesses and schools were affected by flooding.
“Children are home and people can't work. It’s terrible right now,” she revealed.
With Christmas right around the corner, many residents are feeling hopeless, as once again they have lost everything to floods.
“People are crying and don't know what to do as they have lost everything,” Shanti Boodram says. “What people need the most right now, though, are food, water, cleaning supplies and clothing.”
Flood waters are taking a long time to recede
Following two days of heavy rainfall, government officials have teamed up with disaster management units from the regional corporations working on the ground to respond to the crisis, bringing relief to residents, as well as assess the extent of the damage.
The Met Services says the Orange Level Riverine Flood Warning remains in effect for today. More heavy showers and possible thunderstorms are expected, and more street and flash flooding is possible. In addition, Spring tides are in effect, which can exacerbate conditions at high tide.
Mayaro Police state that the Naparima Mayaro Road in the vicinity of the Mafeking Temple remains impassable to small and light vehicles. The Caroni River has over-spilled its banks in several low lying areas and the Penal-Debe region continues to be under water.
The ODPM’s Senior Disaster Management Coordinator, Jerry David, told us they are doing their best to help as many residents as possible.
“Our main focus is on the preservation of life, which is why we are putting so much emphasis on getting equipment and resources into those areas,” he assures. “As soon as the water abates, an army of persons will move in to give support, whether it is in Mafekign or Penal-Debe, or any of the areas bordering the Caroni River.”
He adds: “We are prepared to respond as soon as we can get in, and assess and bring relief to all the many of our citizens who are suffering because of this current weather phenomenon.”
Story by CARISA LEE