Uitvlugt shelter to remain open for displaced flood victims

The closing of the shelter established at the Uitvlugt/Leonora Community Development Centre, which has been housing Stewartville residents displaced by flooding, has been put off until further notice.

The shelter was opened on Saturday following extensive flooding to the villages of Leonora, Stewartville and Uitvlugt on Thursday and Friday, and was slated to close yesterday.

However, Major Sean Welcome, the Preparedness and Response Manager of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) had related to Stabroek News on Monday that the regional administration would be making an announcement yesterday on whether the life of the shelter would be extended. Yesterday, Welcome indicated that the close of the shelter had been delayed and when contacted, Regional Executive Officer of Region Three Denis Jaikaran related that government officials will be visiting the shelter today and then will engage the CDC on the way forward. The final decision on how long the shelter will stay open will lie with Cabinet.

Residents told this publication on Monday that they were unsure of their plans following the closing of the shelter, with some relating that they had not yet had the opportunity to clean their houses following the disaster.

The Uitvlugt/Leonora shelter has been the temporary home to about 40 residents since the flooding, including more than a dozen children, and has been a source of meals for Uitvlugt flood victims.

The high tides began around 3 pm last Thursday, and Friday saw waves rising in excess of 25 feet, extending to the height of the roofs of many homes and quickly flooding the surrounding area.

As a result of powerful spring tides, the Leonora Cottage Hospital was flooded and patients had to be relocated; houses were destroyed at Stewartville; livestock was destroyed; and fences and other structures were weakened and washed away by the floodwaters.

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