West Dem. flood waters recede as residents clean up and count their losses
DPI Guyana, Saturday, March 3, 2018
Flood waters have receded in several villages along the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) after the severe recent overtopping of the seawall due to unprecedented spring tide levels on Friday.
The overtopping continued with this morning’s high tide, along the West Coast Demerara (WCD) however, with significantly smaller waves.
Severe overtopping of the seawall due to unprecedented spring tide levels on Friday left areas between Den Amstel and De Williem flooded. When the Department of Public Information (DPI) visited the area this morning, flood waters had begun to recede in several villages and residents had begun the clean-up process.
One resident recounted, “I’m living here for more than fifteen years, I’ve never faced such a disaster as I’ve seen I in past few days and there is silt and mud and garbage all over, we didn’t even think about Phagwah yesterday, but I see they putting boulders and the minister visit us yesterday and so I’m okay”.
Yesterday, sand bags were distributed to residents to prevent the flood waters from entering their homes while others took precautions such as sealing doors, elevating furniture and creating make-shift concrete barriers.
In Uitvlugt, Amar Awadhnarine, told DPI that, “The sea was real rough and caused three sections of the sea wall to break away … my yard was almost in about 18 inches of water”
Another resident, Sarah Mongol added, “This morning we gotta be thankful because the water is going down, and we didn’t get any flooding or anything this morning.”
Several portions of the upper part of the Uitvlugt seawall’s concrete crest broke under the pressure of the above normal tides, on Friday resulting in immense flooding in the area.
Through a collaborative effort among the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Region Three Administration and several government Ministries and agencies including the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), work is currently underway to remedy the effects of the overtopping and the affected areas are being closely monitored. Two fully operational shelters have been set up at Uitvlugt Secondary School and the Uitvlugt/Leonora Community Development Centre to provide housing and aid for affected persons.
The Leonora Diagnostic and Treatment Center (Cottage Hospital) was closed after flooding to the lower flat of the facility. The hospital will remain until Monday but the Den Amstel Health Center, Uitvlugt Health Center and De Kindren Health Center are all on a 24-hour working system. Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Dennis Ramsingh told DPI that an official attached to the Cottage Hospital will today identify and repair the damaged and leaking areas that are allowing water to enter the facility.
Residents are reminded to take the necessary precautions and secure their belongings as more high tides are expected tomorrow March 4, and Monday March 5.
By: Nateshia Isaacs