Toppled truck snares traffic along Lethem trail

-Region Nine Chairman reports fuel shortage

This toppled truck on a bridge along the Linden to Lethem trail has prevented other vehicles from freely travelling in and out of the Rupununi. (Photo courtesy of Suzie Narine)

A toppled truck on a bridge along the Linden to Lethem trail has restricted traffic in and out of Region Nine, where continuing rainfall has also seen a section of the road between Aishalton and Wariwau washed away.

Region Nine Chairman Bryan Allicock also told Stabroek News last night that the movement of people in the region has been limited as roads are flooded as a result of heavy rainfall in the Rupununi and the overtopping of the Ireng and Takutu rivers. He noted that in some areas, a shuttle system has been put in place to transport people from one area to the next.

Addressing the toppled truck, Allicock said  “buses are shuttling the people and goods to one end and then they take another bus to get to their destination.”

Fuel trucks stranded at one end of the Linden to Lethem trail. (Photo courtesy of Suzie Narine)

He noted that the truck overturned on the bridge during the course of last week. He said fresh efforts would be made to remove the truck today. He also pointed out that they would have to conduct emergency rehabilitation works on the bridge before it is fully reopened to the public.

Allicock explained that the truck was crossing the bridge a few days ago when parts of the decking of the bridge, suspected to have been rotten, collapsed under the weight.

He explained that the regional engineers were looking at the situation but he had not received any update over the weekend. “I will be getting an update tomorrow [today] because we have to get it fix. No vehicle cannot pass and it is taking a toll in the region,” he stressed.

Travellers camping along the Linden to Lethem trail as they await the removal of the truck from the bridge. (Photo courtesy of Suzie Narine)

According to Allicock, the region is currently seeing a fuel shortage as vehicles are unable to access the region to deliver goods.

“We don’t have diesel and gas and the gas stations that have are reserving their fuel for emergencies. Some people had to go over to Bonfim to get fuel. If the truck is not removed soon, we would be in some serious trouble because the goods prices would go up,” he noted.

One affected traveller, Suzie Narine, in a Facebook post, said that the bridge has been blocked off since Friday. She noted in a post on Sunday that some drivers have resorted “to camping out on both sides of the [trail] as they wait for the authorities to effect repairs.”

“Some with light goods have resorted to shuttling the items across what remains of the bridge to vehicles on the other side, then onwards to their intended destination,” she said, while noting that a frustrated coastland-bound driver “made a daring decision to place a few logs across the creek… to cross.”

Meanwhile, addressing the section of the road that was washed way between Aishalton and Wariwau in the South Rupununi, Allicock said that the region would not be able to immediately undertake any rehabilitation works.

A section of the road between Aishalton and Wariwau that was washed away by floodwater. (Photo taken from Polo Junior’s Facebook page)

“That area is very delicate right now and we cannot send machines there. The area is soft and water keeps rushing down from the mountains. We cannot go there now, the savannah is heavily flooded,” he stated.

However, he indicated that the region has sent out an advisory to residents and asked that they use an alternative route through the Awarwanau trail. The chairman said that the trail is a bit more tedious but it is the only route available to facilitate movement.

Over the past moths, heavy rainfall has caused severe flooding in the South Pakaraimas and Deep South, and Central Rupununi areas in Region Nine.

A culvert along the Lethem-Shulinab Road in the Rupununi was washed away as a result of water rushing down the mountains in the area.

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