Trinidadians warned about further flooding, rivers overspilling

(Trinidad Guardian) Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Seigo­nie Mo­hammed says cit­i­zens should pre­pare for river­ine flood­ing to­day.

“The is­sue is that we have a lot of fea­tures at play right now that are bring­ing out the flood­ing,” she ex­plained.

“It’s river­ine flood­ing as op­posed to typ­i­cal flash or street flood­ing.

“River­ine flood­ing means that the riv­er has reached to the point where it over­spills its banks and that will lead to wide­spread flood­ing.

“It’s the ma­jor rivers right now that have crest­ed their banks, which means that small­er trib­u­taries more than like­ly, es­pe­cial­ly with the ad­di­tion­al rain­fall, will lead to fur­ther over­spills in the small­er ar­eas as op­posed to just the Ca­roni Riv­er be­ing over­topped.

“What we’re go­ing to see over the next sev­er­al days be­cause of the red alert ad­vi­so­ry, is river­ine flood­ing that goes in­to Oc­to­ber 26 even though the ad­verse weath­er alert ends on Oc­to­ber 23.”

She said with the river­ine flood alert it will take time for all of the wa­ter to run off from the top … right down through the Ca­roni Riv­er mouth and all of the west­ern side of the is­land.

Mo­hammed said the cur­rent prob­lem is ad­di­tion­al rain­fall at dif­fer­ent times of the day.

She said T&T was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ex­tra rain­fall on the east­ern side of the is­land which had the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of flood­ing prob­lems.

Mo­hammed said when the coun­try had that ad­di­tion­al rain­fall, it com­pound­ed the sit­u­a­tion fur­ther with rain­fall on top of the ex­tra wa­ter on top of an al­ready flood­ed area.

She said there was al­so the phe­nom­e­non of spring tide or lu­nar tide which oc­curs twice every month with the new and full moon phas­es.

Mo­hammed said as T&T goes in­to spring tide from to­mor­row evening, there will be ab­nor­mal high and low tides with waves above the nor­mal tide be­cause of the lu­nar ef­fect.

When that ex­tra tide and wa­ter are try­ing to push in­to the sea from the riv­er mouth, the wa­ter is not go­ing any­where quick­ly.

It is go­ing to take a very long time to sub­side. Ex­pect the wa­ter to stay at the same lev­el be­fore any mean­ing­ful run-off be­gins to take ef­fect.

Mo­hammed said the av­er­age rain­fall T&T re­ceives in any rain event is usu­al­ly about 60 mm or two inch­es.

How­ev­er, in iso­lat­ed ar­eas in the east­ern part of Trinidad rain­fall was in ex­cess of 60 mm—any­where be­tween 60 to 80 to 100 mm.