By Jeanna Pearson
Photos by Arian Browne
Georgetown was covered in floodwaters yesterday in a now regular pattern that follows heavy rains with residents once again riled up about the pile-up of garbage in drains and canals.
The downpour, which started at around 2am yesterday and continued throughout the day, saw drains and canals overflowing with the water flooding homes and businesses in sections of the city. As the water rose, heaps of garbage floated onto flooded roads and in yards.
In some areas, residents blocked the streets with old chairs and bedframes to stop vehicles from passing through,
which would create waves and eventually swell into their homes.
An elderly resident of Cummings Street, Ena Singh said that she stepped into nearly six inches of water when she went into her kitchen to make breakfast. “It was early and the rain was making plenty noise. So I get up and went into the kitchen and the vinolay was floating and the water was couple well inches up my stove,” she related.
Singh said she feared to step out of her house because the water was mixed with faeces after a neighbour’s septic tank overflowed. The water, she said, crept over a concrete block that she had built to keep out the waters and flooded her kitchen and bathroom. “As long as this rain fall we would get flood and if it continue now I don’t know what would happen,” the woman said.
A mother of five, Tammie McCrae said that she awoke at around 5:30am and discovered her apartment swamped. “I watched outside and the road was flooded,” she said, lamenting that if the water does not recede, she would have to find another place for her children to sleep. “When you get kids you can’t have them in dirty water because you ain’t know what sickness in there,” said McCrae. “The water flood the road and then it start to seep under the ground and come into the house…I had to hustle and pick up my carpet and put up my chair and other things.”
Most yards were covered in over 15 inches of water but residents stated that last November’s flood was worse and caused more damage. In Albouystown, homes were swamped and children were seen wading through the garbage-filled waters on the streets.
Another woman, Barbara [only name given], a resident of Cemetery Road, said that she was fed-up of the flooding and said the rubbish pileup across the city was the main contributor. “This situation is sickening. We get more water than corn flour,” she said.
West Ruimveldt was also covered in water. Maylene Nurse said that the flooding was a constant situation that residents in the area had to endure because houses were built low and most of them were flat houses. “When I woke up the whole street was under water and water was pushing the tiles in my house up…you could hear it when you step on it,” she lamented. “This is the condition here for the longest while…it is terrible. We tried raising our yards but it’s no use the water keep on coming,” she added.
Tiffany Adams said that the water was over four inches in her house when she woke yesterday. “And when the cars pass it would cause the water to rise and flow over into my house,” she said, adding that her chairs and carpets were soaked.
Meanwhile, vegetable vendors at the Bourda Market complained bitterly that their greens were damaged after their stalls flooded. “Water in the trench flood over onto the road and then swell up in we stalls. We can’t even walk through the passageways of (the) market because we can’t see the ground and the water dutty bad,” Norma Adams said.
“We ga sell our greens cheap so that people would buy because they don’t wanna come here. Look we buy shallot for $160 and now we ga sell it for $100. Why? Because people ain’t wanna come in this nasty place,” one man said. “This flood is bare stress for we.”
Near the market was a huge heap of garbage on the side of North Road and it was moving into a nearby trench.
Some persons were very hostile about the situation. A Brazilian Church on Cummings Street was covered in floodwaters and two members were seen bailing water by the buckets. When asked about the level of water in the building, one of the members threatened to throw water on the Stabroek News photographer.
The Ministry of Agriculture had on Monday issued a warning of potential flooding, stating that rainfall was expected to be greater than 40.0 mm in low-lying areas. Later yesterday, it said that records up to 8am showed that the highest rainfall of 84.4 mm was recorded in Georgetown. Cloudy conditions with showers are expected to continue for the remainder of the week, the ministry said.