This country received the equivalent of one month’s rainfall in three days, says Works Minister Rohan Sinanan.
Noting that some of the severe flooding stemmed from the overflowing of the Caroni River, the minister said that Cabinet this year approved a project for the rebuilding of the banks of this river and tenders have already gone out.
Sinanan, speaking at a news conference at the National Security Ministry, Port of Spain, said yesterday that most of the water coming onto the highway came from the Caroni River was because the water channels were filled, and the runoff was being slowed by a high tide.
“Most of the developed countries, they do have flooding, it is because of the capacity that you cater for, this was not normal, we got a month rainfall in three days, there is no way you can engineer for that,” he said.
Sinanan said there were no reports of infrastructural damage and although bridges took a pounding they remained intact.
He said several rivers were identified to be cleared and, with the water receding, equipment would be able to go in and start work.
Sinanan said there was a challenge in dealing with the flooded Uriah Butler Highway as there are some incidents of road-paving damage.
He advised motorists to proceed with extreme caution.
The minister said Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) buses will be working tomorrow to transport people. He also said that technical teams are out dealing with reports of landslips.
As of this morning, as a part of their National contribution, Coosal’s Group of Companies has undertaken the project to repair part of the North Bound Lane of the Uriah Butler Highway (UBH) worth approximately $100,000, free of charge. They hope to complete works by 3pm.
The Ministry of Works Chief Planning Engineer (Roads), Katherine Badloo Doerga said, “We actually just finished work on the biggest patch that was washed away and we finished that in a couple of hours. There are a few smaller patches we are going to work on now and we know that won’t take long. The southbound lane still has water so the diversion remains in place.”
Manager of Operations for Coosal’s Group of Companies, Glenn Mahabirsingh said, “We started coordinating repairs yesterday. What happened is that the wearing course (the upper layer in roadway) dilapitated from the base course asphalt so while the damage wasn’t very bad, it still needed to be repaired quickly. We expect that once the water runs off of the southbound lane we will get directions from the ministry to do a detailed inspection.