Heavy rain forecast for the remainder of July

The Hydrometeorological Service is forecasting heavy rain for the remainder of this month and the Agriculture Ministry is urging residents and farmers in vulnerable areas along the coast and riverain communities to be alert during this period.

For the remainder of July, periods of heavy downpours are likely especially during the early morning hours, the ministry said in a statement yesterday. In addition, a spring tide warning is in effect, and this will come to an end on Saturday. The ministry said that all RDCs and NDCs are asked to be alert in the monitoring of the drainage infrastructure. The ministry’s National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will continue to work closely with farmers and residents during this period, it said.

Meantime, the ministry said that notwithstanding heavy rainfall there were no major reports of flash flooding “taking into consideration that the drainage and irrigation system is designed for 38.1mm (1.5 inches) of rainfall but was able to cope with an average 63.5 mm (2.5 inches) of rainfall,” in the last 24 hours. The statement concluded that this is as a result of preparations undertaken for the rainy season and ongoing interventions by the Ministry of Agriculture through its various agencies, the NDIA, the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary/ Agricultural Development Authority and GuySuCo as well as the regional administrations and local government authorities. Last week, following rains, areas on the East and West Demerara flooded.

The statement said that in an effort to continue its aggressive programme and to make timely and necessary interventions, the NDIA has mobilized its resources and personnel to various parts of the country. The ministry reported activities that have been done in Region Two and said there were no reports of flooding.

In Region Three, the ministry said, because of the tide lock mechanism on sluice doors, some areas experienced “accumulation of water”. However, as soon as the tide receded and sluice doors were opened, water quickly receded. The ministry said that in Region Four, while the interventions are targeting affected areas, this has assisted in the removal of flood waters. “Interventions included the installation of a mobile pump at Diamond and an excavator was deployed to Friendship and Kaneville. Two tubes were installed at Kaneville along with a self acting door, while a tractor pump was installed at Craig. Engineers are currently in the region making assessments and looking at other possible interventions. In preparations for the rainy season, the NDIA had cleared key outfall channels such as Little Diamond, Cunha and Garden of Eden which has assisted in getting water off the land,” the ministry added.   Activities ongoing in Region Five included excavating, building embankments and empoldering in Mahaicony and assisting farmers with two days’ work so as to facilitate continued agricultural activity. But farmers in this region are still concerned about flooding. (See other story on this page.) In Mahaica, the right and left flood embankments were being built. Empoldering is ongoing at Little Biabu and a new drainage structure is completed at Jeenarine Canal. The ministry added that in Region Six, mobile pumps were deployed to several areas and in Region Ten; works are being undertaken at Coomacka Creek. The excavators with pontoon had recently dredged the Kara Kara Creek while an NDIA engineer was also deployed to Rockstone to make an assessment of area following intense rainfall, the ministry said.

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