…as city grapples with flood aftermath
Businesses and civilians in Georgetown and surrounding areas are still grappling with the effects
of the major flood which occurred on Thursday. Even as many are counting their losses, there is the promise of more heavy rainfall in the upcoming days.
Thousands of Guyanese in the capital city, and other coastal districts, awoke on Thursday to find their homes and environs inundated. This was caused by incessant overnight rainfall. The inclement weather also forced the closure of both public and private schools for the remainder of the week.
Checks around the city yesterday by this newspaper revealed that civilians and business persons are still reeling from damages to their homes and entities. Several persons, who spoke to Kaieteur News, said they tried to take swift action to decrease the damage associated with floods.
Some said, however, that their efforts proved futile since they continue to be plagued by the presence of not only flood waters mixed with garbage, debris and other items, but the strong stench accompanying it.
Cummings, Light, Wellington, King, Alexander, Carmichael as well as sections of Regent and Robb Streets, are among the city thoroughfares still under water. The larger percentage of vehicles around the city was spotted either parked in water or driving through the flooded streets.
Although most businesses had closed their doors on Thursday, yesterday most of them barred their entrances with sand bags and resumed operations.
Some had resorted to using bags filled with sand as pathways. The water had accumulated to such an extent that the operations of one Regent Street mechanic shop was moved, as workers were seen tending to clients’ vehicles out in the streets.
Scores of civilians, some clad in rain boots, made every effort to maneuver their way around town but the water caused quite a few to walk in the middle of the streets, inadvertently affecting the smooth flow of traffic.
At the Bourda Market, vendors were plying their trade despite the fact that the market was under approximately 6 inches of water in most parts.
The vendors erected makeshift stalls on the streets hoping to sell their products.
The water, they said, had not “moved an inch” and the drainage system, among other things, came in for severe criticisms.
A cry for flood relief
Market vendors issued calls for flood relief as they explained that Thursday’s heavy downpour has resulted in massive losses in infrastructure and goods.
Despite the awful conditions, the merchants informed this newspaper that they have not received a visit from neither City Hall nor the government to address the issue or pave a way forward.
Kaieteur News was told by a number of vendors that they are in need of immediate help. The situation, they explained, has escalated to a point where persons are looting the abandoned stalls in the market.
Barbara Brutus said she experienced upwards to $20,000 in losses. Brutus detailed that the flood waters have started to reek. This has caused her to move from her usual spot inside the market to sell on the streets.
However, while some vendors have chosen to relocate to the “higher grounds,” others, like Dale Davis, a butcher, have remained in the flooded market.
At the time of this newspaper’s visit, he was taking orders from customers who were reluctant to enter. He explained that many of the merchants suffered massive losses, particularly the grocers and clothes vendors.
Davis even related that some persons were in tears over the losses incurred.
Troy Johnson, a vendor who has been selling in that market for 25 years, related that this is the worst flood he has witnessed since 2005. “We need flood relief,” said Johnson, “as taxpayers we should get relief because in the end we are the ones that got to clean up the place.”
Kaieteur News was told that the only official who visited the market was Leader of the Opposition, David Granger.
More rain, flood expected
A weather report from the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy said that significant rainfall is expected for the next few days and flooding conditions will result. He divulged that “while overnight (Friday) and tomorrow (today) will see significant amounts of rain, Sunday is likely to be worse.”
According to Guyana’s Hydromet Office, there will be overcast conditions over Coastal to Inland areas this morning, which are expected to be accompanied by moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms.
“The afternoon,” the weather experts reported, “will see a decrease in intensity and frequency in the showers, but the cloudy to overcast conditions are expected to continue. It is also expected that the precipitations will recommence during the early morning hours.”
On Sunday, overcast conditions over Coastal to Inland areas are expected to be accompanied by moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms.
“The afternoon will see a decrease in intensity and frequency in the showers but the cloudy to overcast conditions are expected to continue. It is also expected that the precipitations will recommence during the early morning hours,” they reported.
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