The City Council is working to restore malfunctioning pumps in an attempt to avert further flooding in Georgetown, while funeral parlour owners say that burials are being cancelled because of the flooded Le Repentir cemetery.
A pump situated at Lamaha Street within the vicinity of BK Inter-national and another located on Water Street within the vicinity of JP Santos are both reported as not working.
However, City Engineer Colvern Venture told Stabroek News that workers of the council are hoping to restore the Water Street pump today. He added that the failure of the pumps is as a result of a garbage pile-up at the foot of the pumps. This pile-up, he added, damaged the foot of the pumps, which in turn caused the hydraulic fluid to leak out of the pump.
Venture said that in relation to the Lamaha Street pump, the Cummings Canal assists in the draining of water from that area since the pump is not currently active.
Deputy Mayor Pat Chase-Green also said that a double-door koker at Cowan Street, Kingston, also aids in draining the water that the malfunctioning Lamaha Street pump is unable to drain. She also said that all sluices are currently in working order.
In addition to the large accumulation of garbage in Georgetown, Chase-Green said that the high tides also contribute to the flooding situation and the time water spends accumulated on the land.
She also appealed for citizens to dispose of their garbage properly, since it clogs drains and canals and blocks the free flow of water.
Venture said that on Tuesday, Georgetown experienced 3.3 inches (approximately 44mm) of rainfall, which caused significant flooding around the city. He also said that at present, Georgetown only has the capacity to take off a little over one inch of rainfall.
Over the past few weeks, funeral homes were forced to postpone the burial of persons because of flooding inside the La Repentir Cemetery.
Sandy’s Funeral Home, Merriman’s Funeral Home and Lyken Funeral Parlour all reported burial postponements.
Gordon Lyken, of the Lyken Funeral Parlour, told Stabroek News that this burial issue has been going on for a few weeks.
He added that it was only made public knowledge after Terence Holder, the well-known broadcaster and former Deputy General Manager of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, could not be laid to rest after his funeral on Wednesday because of the flooding of Le Repentir cemetery.
He further explained to this newspaper that persons are only able to bury their loved ones in the event that the tomb is being built on top of an already existing tomb.
However, if a tomb is to be built from ground up, “it is just not happening,” Lyken said.
Lyken said that there are many occasions where persons are forced to seek alternative burial spots in areas such as Diamond, East Bank Demerara in order to avoid taking the body back to the Funeral Parlour.
When Stabroek News visited Le Repentir Cemetery yesterday afternoon it was still visibly flooded.