Penal/Debe residents are begging for assistance from the T&T Regiment now, as hundreds of residents remain trapped in their homes by rising flood waters.
With the high tides expected between 11 am to 6 pm, the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation disaster management team is working feverishly to evacuate residents from areas including Boodoo Trace, Ragbir Trace, Gopie Trace, Tulsa Trace, Clarke Road, Rochard Road, Penal Rock Road, Barrackpore Trace and along the Rochard Douglas Road.
But some residents, including Sumatie Rampersad, 96, are still reluctant to move.
Children were taken out in dinghies from Ramrattan Maharaj Trace, which was inundated when the Oropouche River broke its banks. The inflatable rafts were donated by the US Embassy but the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation chairman Allen Sammy said it was not enough to do rescues.
He also slammed the wrecker operators who were charging up to $900 to pull stranded motorists from rising flood waters overnight. Sammy said the operators were exploiting innocent citizens.
"They should be helping their fellow villagers not exploiting them," Sammy said.
He said a call was made to the army for assistance. Disaster shelters had already been set up in the communities but Sammy said people will be unable to clean until the floods subside. With more rain predicted for the weekend, Sammy said the evacuation was necessary for some areas. He called on the Ministry of Works and Agriculture to do a comprehensive clearing of the watercourses.
Meanwhile, residents were heard calling for sandbags. At Bridge Cross Mall, plastic bags filled with sand were propped along the entrances of the mall.
Ejaz Ali said, "We are upset because we think more bags could have been provided."
Neigal Rampersad said it was impossible to begin to count the losses that residents suffered.
At Barrackpore, tractors were seen up and down the road carrying stranded residents to safety. Homes were surrounded by water. Businesses were closed and all schools in the region were closed early because of poor turnout.
Guardian Media will bring you more as this story unfolds.