Floods take toll on T&T

Flooding in Trinidad

Floods take toll on T&T
Still reeling from the effects of Monday’s heavy rains and flooding, Port-of-Spain suffered another major blow yesterday as several disasters, natural and otherwise, shut down vehicular and pedestrian movement in and around the capital city.

Thousands stranded as massive floods, landslides cripple East-West Corridor

TT’s capital of flood

City Gate shuts down
Port-of-Spain came to a standstill yesterday as thousands of commuters were stranded while making their way into and out of the capital city because of muddy waters that flooded major streets.

Commuters gridlocked
Incessant rains over the past few days, coupled with yesterday’s inclement weather resulted in flooding, landslides and left students marooned at a primary school in Bourg Mulatresse.

Bridge collapses
It was stress for motorists heading west and east along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway yesterday as the collapse of the B 1/12 bridge at Macoya caused them to be caught in hours of traffic yesterday morning. The situation had worsened by afternoon as heavy showers caused flooding in several parts of the east-west corridor.

Floods maroon Marabella residents

…Distress calls pour in

Sleeping four-year-old killed in mudslide

Girl rescued from landslide

Time for anti-flood action, Mr Imbert

24 thoughts on “Floods take toll on T&T”

  1. 1). Stop putting up homes and buildings without proper drainage.
    2). Stop cutting down the forrest and shrubs, they absorb the run off water.
    3). Stop throwing garbage whereever, it clogs the streams and rivers. It also cause deseases, which you then have to walk through. Try using a garbage can.
    4). If you are truly sick and tired of getting flooded out, you and your neighbors start a petition stating that if the problem isnt fixed ASAP every name on the list will be voting against him/her. Go protest in front of your member of parliment homes, PNM & UNC. take the petition and the press with you see how fast you get a response. If you get lip service from them, let them know the health & welfare of you family and neighbors is more important than thier apathy for thier constituents.
    5). You are being used by two political parties who have no respect for you, thier only concern is who is in power to raid the nations wealth. And once they have taken as much money as they can, well they immigrate to Canada or the States. Where they get better government services.

  2. Coping with floods
    Before seeing the splinter in private developers’ eyes, however, the Government needs to examine the log in its own.

    Landslides, flooding lead to Tears for baby Natalie
    The last act which three-year-old Natalie Alladin performed on Tuesday was to show her mother, Neela Poon, a picture which she drew in school that afternoon.

    Landslides in West Trinidad

    Mud Madness
    Citizens struggle to clean up after the big flood

    More stress

    PoS mayor: Need to dredge East Dry River
    Port-of-Spain mayor Murchison Brown wants serious attention to be paid to the dredging of the East Dry River.

    ODPM head: Evacuation plan still in draft form
    An evacuation plan for Port-of-Spain exists only in draft form and has not been adequately tested, says Colonel George Robinson, chief executive officer of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM).

    Workers sent home early as clouds gather
    PARANOIA set in around midday yesterday as offices and businesses sent workers home early, as dark clouds bearing showers gathered above the capital.

  3. As a trinidadian it saddens me to read about the floods ad whats happening in Trinidad.

  4. I certainly agree with David Ramgobin in suggesting that the public protest so that the politicians might wake and smell the roses.
    Its better to have tried and fail than not to have tried at all.
    Trinidadians Protest!!!!

    May God bless our nation.

  5. Wrong David , your solutions are shortsighted and won’t work for sweet T&T where we cannot “wait for the next holiday ,to fet our lives away.”Break down the fevalla types encampments and housing settlements in John , John, Lavantille, Never Dirty and other former final resting places of children of exslaves. Put these hard working folks in the prestine and choice real estate in Central and similar areas where sugar cane and rice were grown. It is clear that our agricultural industry is dead as the fortunate folks that once own most of these lands have migrated to better lives in your favorite places like Boston, Ottawa, and Northumbaland . That’s your solution for flooding , as the gabbage trucks would now be justified for not visiting the concreat urban jungles, and the Ministry of Works can remain fervent in their neglect of pertinent infrastructure for perennially neglected people of a certain hue. I am sure you can agfree with my assessment.

  6. Thank All those PNM’ites in South Trinidad! They’re getting exactly what they voted for! All that water represents the tears that God and the Angels are crying over what Manning and his Followers are doing to the country!

  7. Weather spin

    Newsday Editorial
    Friday, November 21 2008

    The Patrick Manning administration has at various times been accused of indifference, and even contempt, toward citizens. These comments have usually been made in the context of particular issues, such as the spiralling crime rate or the construction of aluminium smelters. This is par for the course for any administration, and is not necessarily an accurate indication of the Government’s attitude, only citizens’ perception of that attitude — though, in a democracy, that in itself poses a political problem.

    Recent responses by Government Ministers, however, lend credence to the perception that they have a low opinion of ordinary citizens. Faced with the devastation wrought by Tuesday’s 50 minutes of rainfall, ranging from flooded homes to vehicles washed away to a toddler’s death, Government spokesmen could only muster unconvincing excuses.

    Local Government Minister Hazel Manning, trotted out the “stationary clouds” line and asserted that in that context no drains could handle such torrential downpours. This in a world where the Dutch managed 200 years ago to keep the sea at bay on their low-lying land, and where developed nations, with far more violent weather patterns than ours, experience floods only when hurricanes hit.

    Works Minister Colm Imbert in his turn spoke about saturated ground, the need to widen drains, and legal action against errant land developers. All this in the context of what he called “peculiar rainfall”.

    But, whether the rainfall is strange or not, these Government Ministers are acting as though flooding is a new occurrence in Trinidad and Tobago. A person unfamiliar with this country would swear, hearing them talk, that TT has never had floods in Port-of-Spain, St Ann’s, central and south. And here is where the Government Ministers’ contempt for citizens shows itself, because they assume, by acting like never-see-come-sees, that people will be fooled into forgetting the past as well.

    The Government needs to spin this issue, because the flooding in PoS and other parts of the country provides the most dramatic and eye-catching evidence of this administration’s skewed priorities, lack of vision, and poor planning capabilities. Despite what Mrs Manning believes about drains, and despite Mr Imbert’s attempt to blame the weather, the flooding problem can be solved by human intervention. So a government concerned about the people would have used the billions of dollars from the energy windfall to deal first with infrastructural issues, rather than constructing showy buildings and hiring grass-cutters.

    The country had the money to get experts and equipment that could have reduced flooding in key areas within a three- to five-year period. Had the Government taken this path, food crops might not have been destroyed, which would have helped curb inflation, citizens would not have gone through the annual stress of flood damage, and the lives of three children might have been spared.

    Government spokespersons take their cue from the leader, however. And Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s decision to postpone his address to the nation scheduled for Wednesday night, on the basis that TT was playing a football World Cup qualifier, reveals his true view of the people, as well as an ego which could not bear the thought that citizens might prefer to watch a football match than listen to him speak about a world financial crisis which his administration has continually denied will affect the nation.


  8. it is all our fault!!!yes the time has come for all of us to watch around.around with all that has happen an all i can say it is all our fault as individuals.nothing happen’s by guess.TIME WAISTED IS NEVER RECOVERED!!

  9. The damage caused by the heavy rains was due mostly to the heavy runoff, some of which would usually percolate through the ground. Dredging the Dry River is not the solution since there is not much to dredge. Also, the river is paved all the way to the ocean. Nevertheless, large areas of land throughout the country, which have been paved over by roads, commercial buildings, and houses over the last 20 years are preventing water from percolating through the soil. Over the last few years, the severity of flooding has increased with normal rainfall. As more land is paved over with roads, and houses built, flooding could become more severe in the future. When the government is more interested in palatial mansions, executive jets, high-rise building, 200 million dollars for BMW motocars, and not a cent for flood-control projects, it tells a lot about the priorities of the government. There is a saying that goes something like this: Put a crapo in a pot of room temperature water and slowly turn up the temperature, and the crapo would stay in the boiling water and not jump out. This is one way that the incidence of flooding that we have been witnessing could best be described. Fortunately, the flooding did not affect me, but the heavy rainfall did cause some minor erosion towards the front of the house. Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday have to be blamed for the destruction and damage caused by this flooding since they both decided to recklessly build houses for their supporters over the last 2 decades without proper planning or taking the consequences into account.

  10. Neal, The people of John,John, Lavantille, and other areas are treated like second class citizens beecause everyone knows that no matter what happens, they will always vote PNM. Police brutality, floods, murder, high crime, it doesnt matter my friend they will go back to the PNM. And what politician will spend money in an area where he/she knows that they have such a loyal vote. And what politician will spend money in an area where he/she knows they are not getting that vote. If I were thier PNM minister why would I want to destroy my permenent seat in parliment by scattering my loyal voters across the country. They would get lip service and the basics, because I know no matter what they will vote for PNM.
    ’40 acres and a mule’ how long do you think the people will hang on to that land. Given the choice of working the land or selling it to some land speculator for quick cash, the majority will choose quick cash and be right back where they started. Few will see it as an opportunity for a better future for themselves and thier children.
    What the areas stated above need are jobs and job training. As the saying goes, ‘Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.’ Only then will these good folks have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and put those ‘slums’ behind them.

  11. My question to you therefore David is this , on the two occasions when the PNM was the Oppposition Party what happened, did the loyal PNMites- as you might like to call them -not support the victorious party? The defeatist mindset you are projecting , is counterproductive. What Mr. Panday needs to do is call Mr M’s bluff and do something bold and chesslike.Manning bwants Caribbean integration to bolster his Afrocentric votes as some think, then he Panday should be the one to push this local land distribution agenda and call for the destruction of the favellas I refered to.Empower the broadbased neglected and give them dignity in similar fashion to narrow tribal sections, and the returns might surprise everyone- including you.
    Have some more faith in fellow citizens as well my friend, it is that condecending mindset that they are able to read through . Many may be poor , dumb, but are quite savy about the delicate intricacies of politics ,and can decifer when politician figures , leading elites interllectuals , and skewed media entities are fixated on giving them them a 6 for a 9. Unfortunately , quite a few have resorted to the view that “when better cannot be done ,that the worst should be allowed to continue”- if you catch my drift.

  12. “Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday have to be blamed…………. for … this flooding, since they both decided to recklessly build houses for their supporters over the past 2 decades…..without proper planning.” Finally someone have the courage to distribute the blame equally for some of the ills that affects our country. Perhaps there is hope for us yet.

  13. I am 13 years of age and i wish to express myself in the matter of the flooding. The minister of housing need to stop cutting down trees and forests to stop the flooding in trinidad and tobago.When you cut down the trees less oxygen is provided and more carbon dioxide is filling the atmosphere.Also the trees are to stop the water and then it goes into the soil then into the earth’s water table.

  14. I have a little science project for you young Jashua, do you believe that it is poor hungry and desperate native indians on the Brazilian wastland of that great country that is responsible for global warming- as indicated by the global corporate media -because they chop a few trees down to acquire firewood to feed their 13 year old kids like yourself without the benefit of a computer and internet and lots of spare time that should be spent doing homework? Leave grown folks issues alone my son,and try to finish school and eventually make some meningful contribution for the development of your country .
    Ministers do not cut down forest to build houses , and even if they did , so be it ,as the beneficiries want the same comfort like you- obviously one of the priviliged whose glass house was constructed on the sea .

  15. Neal, give Joshua a break. He’s expressing his opinion about the world around him and is taking an active part. Also by taking part he will learn, and isnt that what we all want an educated people who can stand up for themselves and not wait for government to do things for them.
    Keep voicing your opinion Joshua, cry out at every injustice you see. The world may not listen, but if just one person does listen then you have made a differance.
    Joshua, Neal is right about this ‘Ministers do not cut down trees to build houses.’ Big business who own the politicians cut down trees for profit. Remember this the next time you drink a coca cola. In Belize coca cola own the majority of the land which they de-forrested to grow the nuts to make that wonderful drink. Thanks to all the politicians in Belize they bought.

  16. I’ll go back to my original point, the people need to take an active part in thier political lives. Voting doesnt cut it anymore. If you sit back and wait for the govt. to meet your needs then you’ll be waiting a long time. Crime, make some noise. Flooding, make some noise. Bad health care make some noise.
    Only you folks know your wants and needs, let your voices be heard. If you do not speak up loudly, it will be business as usual with the govt. You know, high-rise buildings, $200 million for limos, man-made islands in the gulf and maybe pennies for you.
    Complain when you get bad service from your govt. your doctor, a store, from anywhere. Complain, complain, complain. Your opinion counts, doesnt matter who you are, you are a human being and you deserve to be treated as such.

  17. David , I was just having some healthy fun at Joshua’s expense as I sensed that he might be a frauduelent political hack disgused as A 13 year old. I have been in the kids business for quite some time now my friend and recognize the ways that the average 13 year old think whether they live in Amsterdam , Liverpool , Manitoba, Maimi,Capetown , or Westmoorings .
    Many are more concern with the acqusition of their next Play Station or XBox game, than to make forays into critical social issues that are garanteed to produce premature aging while raising blood pressure levels especially in sweet T&T.

  18. While I do agree that the government has some responsibility for their lack of proper planning causing the ridiculous perennial flooding situation in trinidad, I must say that trinidadians need to look at ourselves as well.

    I am tired of seeing people simply throwing food boxes or juice containers or bottles out of their vehicles or while walking down the road, into our nation’s roadways and waterways. I am tired of seeing people simply dump their old fridge, stove, car parts, beds etc.. at the side of roads around dumpsters (not in..mind you) and in the beds of rivers during the dry season. I am tired of seeing business owners or their workers indiscriminately piling large heaps of garbage bags at the side of the road at the end of the working day, only to be burst open by stray dogs or vagrants and left strewn across the pavement and land up in the drain.

    Do you expect that all of this “junk” wouldn’t add up and clog our drains and rivers? We already have so little proper drainage to work with…why clog up what we have?? And then we act surprised that the floods come. And the easiest thing to do is blame the government. But guess what…the government didn’t come in the night and dump garbage all over the town…WE THE PEOPLE DID. And the government’s poor planning simply exacerbates the real problem – our citizen’s lack of respect for our enviroment.

    I am not an environmentalist, nor am I a supporter of any politcial party, but I am sick and tired of hearing Trinis complain about a problem they can help fix, but do nothing about. I am sick and tired of being marrooned in my office on an afternoon because I will not hike up my pants/skirt and walk through refuse-filled water to get to my mode of transportation to go home.

    Is it that hard to hold on to your empty containers until you fnd a rubbish bin (both the government and corporate T&T have taken the time and money to provide several of these)? Can’t you keep your rubbish in a small bag in your car until you get home and throw it in a bin then? And all one must do to get rid of your old furniture etc. is to call the City/Borough corporation and they will send a truck to pick up at your house – FREE OF CHARGE! You must know that your fridge stopped working and you plan to throw it away…the best place you can do that is a river bed or at the side of the road?

    Come on, people of Trinidad and Tobago! Let’s do better than that! We often say that the floods are us reaping what we sow, but we often are throwing that at the government…It’s time we realise that we are doing this to ourselves sometimes, and now we, the people, are reaping what we have sown upon ourselves.

  19. Nicole, Thank You. I am glad to see I am not the only one who think its a disgrace the way the citizens of this beautiful country use it like a garbage dump. The wet land down here in south is now a rufuge for tires, stoves, refridgerators, and every other man made article people do not want. What wildlife there is remaining is struggling to survive. My favorite one is the people who use the ponds as garbage dumps, then go and catch fish and eat it. When they get sick they blame the govt. for having bad health care.

  20. Nicole a question for you, why do you believe that the same person who dumps his Royal Castle chicken or Mario Pizza box in the drain in Trinidad while on his way to Piarco en route to USA, Canada or Europe ,won’t do the same once he lands in one of the respective countries mentioned? Yes my friend government and political leadership matters.
    They can set the tone as to the direction they wish to shift the energies , behaviors and actions of a people by creating the necessary laws in this case that shows zero tolerance for littering , and of course ensuring appropriate enforcement.

  21. Neal, I agree with yu that the gov’t leadership matters..I think I made it clear in my first line that I acknowledged gov’t repsonsibility for the floods. And you’ve added a new dimension to it with your point about the lack of proper law enforcement when it comes to littering (or anything else for that matter) in this country.And i do agree that when we trinis set foot in the US or Europe, we are very careful to walk with our trash for hours till we can throw it away in a bin because the laws are so stringently enforced there.

    BUT…i will forever maintain that laws and its enforcement, while necessary, should not influence the way we behave. The fact that the laws aren’t enforced still does not make it right for us to litter with such gay abandon as we currently do. We are not children…it’s big, hard-back adults I have seen littering all over the place…we as adults must know the difference between right and wrong. We as adults must know that every action results in a consequence. So, if we continuously litter..the garbage must go somewhere and we can trust that it will resurface to haunt us.

    We don’t need a political leadership to show us that.

    In fact, if we were waiting on the political leadership to guide us, we would all be stealing millions of dollars and squandering our money away, driving fancy cars and wearing expensive suits, and basically living in blissful unawares that the rest of the globe is going through a financial crisis.

    While politicians rightfully are in the position to set the tone, they don’t. And we should hold them accountable for that. But we should also act in a responsible manner and not engage in the ridiculous amount of improper waste disposal that we currently do! Whenever the flood waters subside, I urge anyone to take a close look at what is left piled in the streets – amid the silt and mud are our plastic bottles, food boxes, plastic bags, I even saw a child’s plastic lunch kit once! And as I said before – the gov’t did not dump those things there in the dead of the night…we do it at any time, day or night.

    All I am saying is that if we took more responsibility for our own actions, we could help with the serious flooding problems we have. Admittedly, the problems wont go away completely without proper govt intervention, but responsible actions by the people of T&T will help.

  22. You are on point Nicole, and we do have a common agreeement. Remember however that you are via this blog forum preaching to the converted. I can assure you that the bloke from the Barazilian -like -favellas in John, John , Movant, Lavantill, St Babbs , and Mt. Dor that helps clogs the drains that eventually floods out the neighborhoods of his poor brothers in Central is simply concerned with survival, and might not have access to the internet where they can benefit from your admonitions.
    Let’s collectively as citizens refrain from providing fullscale support of obvious common ,devisive ,and selfserving ,sweet T&T’s ‘caveman’ ,tribal politic as usual, and try and erradicate poverty ,and despair then look at the results.
    The clean habitat models you observe in areas such as Westmoorings, LSD Park, Lange Park , Maraval and other prestine neighborhoods in our country ,would not be an aberation, but eventually become the norm.
    Hope your thanksgiving was fine my friend ,and it was not too cold where you reside.

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