The East Coast of Demerara was bracing for more rain today after heavy, persistent downpours yesterday left low-lying areas under inches of water.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr Leslie Ramsammy told Stabroek News last evening that all engineers attached to the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) were out in the fields monitoring kokers sluices and other drainage infrastructure. He said that the rain will continue for another 48 hours and the Doppler Radar facility at Timehri has provided information to this effect.
Communities on the ECD are prone to flooding and yesterday, residents in several areas were preparing for the worst as rain persisted through Saturday evening into yesterday and last evening.
This newspaper visited several areas along the ECD yesterday and as the rains continued, residents were hoping for the best. Bee Hive resident Ramkissoon and his wife Dhanraji noted that the area was under as much as seven inches of water.
The elderly couple noted that their community was under water since Saturday evening when the rain poured. They said that as the water level rose, they were forced to move a number of items, including several sacks of cement to higher ground. They noted that if the rains persist, they may have to relocate their kitchen to the upper flat of their home.
Several yards in the nearby communities of Ann’s Grove, Clonbrook, Dochfour and Greenfield were inundated and persons in those areas, memories of the 2005 Great Flood still fresh, were keenly looking at the water levels around 3 pm yesterday as it rained. A resident at Greenfield noted that while the koker and drainage pump at the foreshore were draining water off the area, floodwater was rising aback the community and as such he noted that additional rainfall last evening and today would exacerbate the situation.
In the Unity, Mahaica area, persons noted yesterday morning that several farms were under water while homes were affected by rising water levels. A resident noted however, that the water level dropped as the day progressed.
Persons at Cane Grove, Mahaica told this newspaper yesterday afternoon that heavy and persistent rainfall was being watched but they were optimistic that the area was not threatened by flooding, provided the weather pattern changed last evening. The recently commissioned drainage pump in the area was churning the floodwater out of the area when Stabroek News visited the facility yesterday afternoon.
Residents of Buxton told this newspaper yesterday that while the community was not affected much by the rainfall, the water may rise overnight since floodwater from the backlands will eventually drain into the basin which Buxton sits on. According to them, poor drainage infrastructure may also lead to the area being under water within the next few days.
Meantime, the Agriculture Minister said yesterday that the level of the water in the conservancies is being monitored. He said that in Region Four, there was no major flooding while in the Region Three area, the main drainage canals were being maintained and monitored yesterday.
The Agriculture Ministry urged residents in low-lying and flood prone areas to take all necessary precautions against possible flooding.