By Rehanna Ramsay
Several villages across Guyana‘s coastlands remained flooded yesterday as a result of unusually high spring tides.
The affected area are reportedly located closest to the beaches, stellings, river and sea defences.
Kaieteur News understands that the flood waters were above 18 inches high. Communities on the West Demerara, including Den Amstel Anna Catherina, Blankenburg, Ituni, Hydronie, in Parika, East Bank Essequibo, were all affected by the rising tide.
On the East Coast, Colombia, Prospect, High Dam, Mahaicony and Sheet Anchor, New Amsterdam, are said to be among the areas which were hard hit.
This comes hours after the authorities warned residents to brace for the unusually high spring tides.
Those who experienced the flooding in the farmland complained of heavy loses.
Businessman, Mahadeo Panchu, in a social media post, expressed discontent at the flood defence mechanism.
According to Panchu , when the water of the mighty Atlantic swamped the west Mahaicony farmlands around 60 acres of his brother’s plots of rice was inundated by salt water.
The businessman revealed that Just weeks ago, a small contractor was paid hundreds of millions to seal the breach at Dantzig, Mahaicony
He noted that it couldn’t withstand the current high tide.
“What a waste of money! Why not employ the services of a company with a proven track record in the execution of such sea defence projects?”
While villagers have been complaining about the lack of proper sea and river defences, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson told Kaieteur News last evening that the flooding could not be avoided.
“ There has been no breach as far as I am aware. This is just a result of natural phenomenon. It‘s hurricane season and there have been a lot of tropical storms recently, So what we are experiencing is a tail end of what is happening in the mid –Atlantic”.
According to Patterson, Government had issued advisory, warning persons to take the necessary precautions.
“We have issued the spring tide warning and persons were advised to take precautions and put the sand bags in place.
In addition, the Minister noted the CDC has been on the ground offering assistance to those in need.
“ The CDC is working to provide assistance where necessary; helping with the sand bags; handing out cleaning supplies which will be used after the flood waters recede.”
The Minister said that the flood waters are expected to recede within four hours.
“It is not expected to last longer than that, so everything should be back to normal once the tides go down.”
Meanwhile, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) issued a public advisory stating that as a result of flooding at the Stabroek Market caused by the overtopping of the Demerara River, Council will only allow stallholders access to the market via the middle gate located at the southern entrance.
“The Georgetown Municipality sincerely regrets the inconvenience caused and wishes to assure the general public that the Council is working assiduously to restore normalcy to the operations of the Market.
Also, the Council also wishes to advise that the High Tide warning is still in effect,” the advisory said.
On Saturday, Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, reported that tides measuring about 3.24 meters caused overtopping of the Sea Defence on West Coast Demerara.
Craig said based on a detailed assessment, 70 homes were flooded in Anna Catherina alone. However, he believes when combining all the communities affected, the numbers were much higher than that.
“I think approximately 200-350 homes are affected based on a rough estimation and including all those communities,” said Craig.
The Director General did not forget to mention that the tide was recorded to be above the normal level and warned residents to take precautions.
He told them to prepare for a tide measuring much higher than the previous tide. He advised that they should prepare by “sand bagging” their homes and elevating all household furniture and appliances.
Craig also told reporters that the CDC is working hand in hand with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to assess, monitor and respond to the situation.
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