River defence works scheduled to prevent recurrence of Helena Number Two overtopping

Chief Sea and River Defence Officer Kevin Samad says works will be done to prevent a recurrence of the overtopping that occurred at Helena Number Two, Mahaica over the weekend, which resulted in the flooding of the yards of several residents.

Samad told Stabroek News that after the flooding was highlighted, the district engineer went to inspect the dam in the area, where he found that a section had a decline, which resulted in the dam losing some of its height and the water flowing over into the yards during the high spring tide.

“It was a very high spring tide coupled with the rainfall coming down from the backlands but we are aware of the problem and we have it under control,” Samad said, while adding that Sea and River Defence Department would fortify the defence in the declining areas and raise the sea defence height. While the weak areas will be specifically targeted, he said the entire stretch from the New Bridge to the Old Bridge will be targeted for repairs.

There has been an increase in fishing activity and, resultantly, the number of boats occupying the river, near the sea defences, which are being damaged as a result.

Some residents were greeted with several inches of water in their homes early Friday morning due to the overtopping. Because of the sudden flooding, which had never occurred before, they had no chance to prepare and, therefore, some of them suffered damage to their appliances and furniture. However, the flooding did not stop as the water would recede as the tide went down and rise again in the early hours of the morning. This continued until early Monday morning.

When Stabroek News visited the areas that were flooded on Monday, there weren’t any signs of water and one of the residents explained that while there was slight overtopping, it was not significant and the water did not take long to recede.

When the Unity/ Vereeniging Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) was contacted, Chairman Atamdeo Persaud had explained that there was nothing his NDC could do and that the situation had been reported to the region.

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