Heavy winds accompanied by rain and lightning caused some damage in the vicinity of the Splashmins Fun Park, Soesdyke-Linden Highway yesterday afternoon and creek goers had to seek shelter
The storm began shortly after 1 pm and lasted just over 15 minutes, said patrons who were taking a swim in the Madewini Creek outside of Splashmins.
As the storm intensified, patrons quickly dashed out of the water and sought cover under benabs and in their vehicles.
Five utility poles belonging to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and trees were uprooted by the heavy winds. Benabs from outside and inside of Splashins Fun Park also collapsed. The signage at the entrance of the Splashmins Fun Park and a section of the fence were also damaged. It was also observed that some poles tilted and were supported by trees.
There are no reports of injuries. However, a vehicle owner suffered losses after an electricity pole fell on his car and damaged his windscreen. Stabroek News was informed that persons had to use a chainsaw to cut a section of the pole in order to remove it from the car.
Patrons returned to the water despite power lines being submerged. Some held on to the wires as they swam in the creek. Persons said power had been cut off from the lines. It is unclear when the fallen poles would be replaced. This newspaper was told by a representative of GPL that they received reports from several residents about the fallen utility poles which has left all areas connected to that system without power.
The representative from the company’s Emergency Department said that GPL was working to remedy the situation.
“It came with the heavy winds and sudden heavy shower and just how it came, about 15 minutes later it just stopped and all of a sudden it was sunshine again as if nothing had happened… Everybody returned to the water,” a patron related.
One staffer from Splashmins described the phenomenon as something they have never witnessed before. The woman explained that she sought cover inside the ticket booth after she noticed the overcast conditions. “It was windy man and then it picked up and lightning and thunder and the rain come… the breeze was so much you see everything circling,” she recounted.
“Chairs and table were flying away. I ran to the kitchen for shelter after everything start… I saw it coming from the east and you coulda see it pick up the water and just circling everything”, another staffer said.
Sabrina Obermuller, a patron who was at the Splashmins Resort, told this newspaper “It was overcast with dark, dark clouds so we said we will go back home but then one heavy wind and rain and the lantern posts dem and the trees start fall down…it lick out and fall on people car and bus and suh that was parked.”
One man who was outside of Splashmins said he hid under a table and waited for the storm to pass. He explained that in some cases patrons’ food and drinks were swept away by the heavy breeze. “…everybody was scattering and run or shelter… even some benabs and roof from changing rooms were ripped off,” the man said.
As the storm died, persons resumed their afternoon of relaxation.