Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson yesterday said all systems have been activated to mitigate any flooding after the Hydrometeorological Service predicted heavy rainfall.
According to a special bulletin issued yesterday, heavy and continuous precipitation was expected to be observed over a period of six to 36 hours as a tropical wave passing Guyana was expected to interact with an Upper Level Trough and Sub Tropical Jet.
“An upper level trough and the Sub-tropical Jet are interacting with a tropical wave; these features are currently affecting and will continue to affect Guyana during the next 6 to 36 hours. Weather conditions are likely to deteriorate as the Jet entrance migrates over Guyana from time to time,” the bulletin explained, while pointing out that regions across the country will experience mostly overcast skies, however, the coastal and inland areas are predicted to experience continuous moderate to heavy rainfall and thundershowers.
“Periodic high intensity rainfalls are anticipated in areas of Regions 2 to 5. Precipitation is expected to be less intense over all the other locations,” it further said, while adding that 24 hours accumulated rainfall is expected to be between 40mm and 80mm over Regions 7, 8 and 9 and in excess of 120mm in Regions 1 to 6 and 10.
“With the current and forecasted weather conditions, there exist high probabilities that water accumulation and flooding will be observed. Hilly areas are likely to experience landslides,” it added, while advising persons to be very cautious over the coming 36 hours.
A statement from the Ministry of the Presidency stated that Patterson has given assurances that all systems have been activated to mitigate any possible flooding as the country prepares for forecasted heavy and continue rainfall. “Given the fact that the next low tide is expected to be at 04:30hrs followed by another period of low tide until 17:00hrs tomorrow [Friday], Minister Patterson said that the risk of flooding will increase if there is intense rainfall during that period,” the statement added.
It added that the Ministry of Communities and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) have been working along with the MPI to ensure that all the pumps are activated and all the other systems are in place to ensure that the country does not feel the brunt of the possible heavy rainfall and high tides.
“We have been in contact so that the critical players can be aware of what is happening. We have contacted the City Engineers and we have made an inspection at each and every pump. We have contacted GPL [Guyana Power and Light] to let them know that particularly Liliendaal has to remain powered. We have opened the Cofferdam in Kitty and we have contacted all sluice attendants to tell them to be alert so that they can close the sluices on time and open them on time and as soon as the first rain starts, we will start using our mechanical pumps right away,” the statement quoted Patterson as saying.
In preparation for a possible flood, the statement said that the CDC advises that citizens: know the route to the safest shelter; keep a first aid kit ready with extra medication for snakebite and diarrhoea; have a radio, torch and spare batteries nearby; have stocks of fresh water, dry food, candles, matchbox, kerosene and other products and identify higher group where persons and animals can take shelter.