Record levels of rainfall in parts of the Caribbean have led to some flooding in Guyana and Trinidad.
The heavy rainfall began on Wednesday 27 November and has since caused flooding in parts of the Guyana capital, Georgetown, and also other coastal areas. Shops, offices, schools and even the Magistrate’s Court were closed as a result of the floods.
The heaviest of the rainfall lasted for about 6 hours, and resulted in record levels of 128.9mm in Georgetown, the highest since 1892. Local media claim the rain fell at an intensity of 21.5mm per hour, higher than that of the floods in 2004 and 2005.
Further rainfall is expected, possibly between 50mm and 100mm over the course of the day. Flash flood warnings remain in effect, chiefly for the flood prone areas along Guyana’s coast.
Local authorities are working on clearing drainage canals, and ensuring that pumping stations are working sufficiently. There are reports that 2 major pumps in the area 9 Kingston (forestry) and Lama Canal) are not working, leaving parts of Georgetown more vulnerable to flooding.
Trinidad experienced a similar story after heavy rainfall on 26 to 27 November left many parts of the island suffering from flooding.
The local newspaper, Trinidad Express, says that the worst affected areas are Monkey Town, Barrackpore, Ste Madeleine, Debe, Penal, Otaheite and Cross Crossing, and San Fernando. Some of the island’s smaller rivers have also overflowed in Sangre Grande, San Rafael and Caparo. Levels of the Caroni River were dangerously high, but had not, as yet, overflowed.
Although the flooding caused some hardship for Trinidad’s motorists, only a few homes and buildings have been reported as flooded.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, said “As you can see, the water is rising. And therefore all systems are on the alert in the event that we have to deal with anything.” The country’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) warned of possible landslides in flooded areas, and also of the threat of rising river levels, especially to those in low lying areas.
Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service also issued flood warnings, and have forecast further rainfall for today.