Following the flooding of River View and surrounding areas on Wednesday because of an open koker, the attendant and the supervisor have been sent on administrative leave and a detailed analysis of all of the sluices in the city has been launched.
River View and some parts of Alexander Village and West Ruimveldt were inundated on Wednesday morning after the koker’s door was left open for several hours and the high tide poured through. In a matter of hours residents’ yards and homes were filled with approximately one-foot-high floodwater.
Because most residents were sleeping around the time the water started rising, they were unable to move their furniture and electrical equipment and these were flooded.
Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, Public Relations Officer of the MCC, Debra Lewis said that a full-scale investigation into what occurred at the koker has been launched and the koker attendant and the supervisor have since been sent on administrative leave.
A detailed analysis of all the sluices and pumps that are maintained by the City has also been launched and adjustments in how they are managed have since been made. Lax koker attendants have been a longstanding problem for the city. It is also unclear why only now the city is doing a detailed examination of the kokers.
While the residents said they are holding the city responsible for their losses and want to be compensated, Lewis said that no decision has yet been made and emphasized that a discussion with the full council is needed.
Personnel from the city, along with Lewis, also visited the communities yesterday and distributed cleaning supplies to assist the residents.
However, while some of the residents expressed gratitude for the assistance, most of them related that they were disappointed that the help came a day later.
“I don’t know if they expect that people woulda wait on them to clean dey house that they come a whole day after and now sharing out things. It don’t make sense, it don’t make no sense at all,” David Gomes, whose home was flooded and his refrigerator and gas stove damaged, told Stabroek New yesterday.
The man related that he was very disappointed with the city, given that they took more than a day to assist the residents with cleaning. He also said that the City was disorganised in its distribution and was sharing the cleaning supplies to anyone that came and requested.
“They didn’t even come and take names and see who really get affected but sharing to anybody that come to them with a bottle,” the man explained.
In addition to the cleaning supplies, the City also had workers cleaning drains and spraying certain parts of the community to prevent any outbreak of diseases.
Apart from the cleaning, which most residents had already completed, the community said that they are waiting patiently to see what the city will do to compensate them for their losses. Persons reported that they have had to spend extra money to replace items in their house.
“I had to go and get a new fridge and other things including vinyl for the ground cause you can’t leave it like that and plus I had to get cleaning stuff yesterday and I done spend over $20,000 and gon spend more because I ain’t finish yet,” Gomes said.
Another resident explained that she was not able to send her children to school since their books were destroyed in the flood along with some of their school uniforms. The woman explained that now she has to find additional money to replace those.
“Everybody coming to try and save face and pretend they helping we but we need more than some cleaning supplies. They acting like is we fault that this happen but is they fault. Is they fault and they gotto do something for these people in here,” another resident argued.