Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson said the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is currently conducting an assessment in communities heavily affected by flood waters to provide relief.
Minister Patterson said those persons in West and East Riumveldt and Albouystown will receive relief by the end of the day in an effort to reduce the discomfort they are facing as a result of continuous rainfall.
The Public Infrastructure Minister on a flood update to the media this afternoon noted that the situation is disappointing and “it is very sad that there were no advisories given to the residents in advance.”
Minister Patterson underlined that last evening from 23:00hrs (11:00pm), heavy rainfall, coupled with the neap tide period (period when the water is high) caused the flooding in the city. He explained that during the normal period, the Ministry can use its sluices for six hours while during the neap tide period, it can only use these structures for three hours.
“The sluices and outlets are the primary way to discharge water, so from this morning the sluices were opened from 4:00am to 9:00am, unfortunately it closed, they’re now opening for about three hours at 6:00pm and then till 4:00am again tomorrow. That means our primary means of discharging the waters is by pumping,” Minister Patterson related.
Earlier today, the Government Information Agency (GINA) noted that Minister Patterson discovered during a visit this morning that one of the three pumps in Kingston was not working.
Minister Patterson noted this afternoon that in Georgetown there are five pumps operated by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), and unfortunately the ones at the head of Lamaha Street and Riverview are not working.
“I’ve put emergency measures in place. The one at Lamaha Street should be running by this evening and the one at Riverview should start working tomorrow so if there is more rainfall in the next 48 hours, we will try to discharge as much water as possible. For six hours a day we can use the sluices and for the balance we have to use the pumps,” Minister Patterson explained.
The Minister further explained that currently he is mobilising more pumps to complement the three that are working. He said one will be deployed at Muneshwers on Water Street, and one at Sussex Street and that this will be done by this evening. Two smaller ones will be deployed in Queenstown and Princes Street.
“They should be running by this evening. Tomorrow we should have seven pumps working, hopefully, without a large rainfall we should be perfect by Christmas Day.”
Additionally, the Minister pointed out that the Kitty pump station has been damaged due to a collapsed culvert that was over 50 years old. However, the Ministry was able to put a temporary measure in place as it awaits the replacement.
In addition to the teams deployed all over, the Ministry is also getting assistance from GAICO, which is currently desilting the Kingston outfall that was silted.
The Minister encouraged interested persons to uplift sand bags from the Kitty pump station free of cost.
Meanwhile the National Weather Watch Centre of Guyana has predicted more rainfall over the next seven days.
The centre in a release stated that on Christmas Eve day, Saturday, December 24, between 20 to80 mm of rainfall is expected in Regions 1 to 7 and 10. The other regions are expected to experience between 10 to 30 mm of rainfall.
On Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, 15 to 55 mm of rainfall is expected over Guyana.
For Boxing Day, Monday, December 26, up to Thursday, December 29, between 10 and 30 mm of rainfall is expected within a 24- hour period.