City, coast flooded due to heavy rain, high tide- authorities

Last Updated on Friday, 23 December 2016, 11:55 by Denis Chabrol

A weather satellite photo showing rain along the coast of French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana.

Heavy rainfall and high tide on Friday conspired to severely flood Georgetown and several coastal villages.

In the case of Georgetown disposal of waste into canals and poor construction techniques have added to the woes facing residents who have been shopping and otherwise preparing for the Christmas season

So far more than 45.2 millimeters (1.25 inches) of rain fell in Georgetown between 8 AM Thursday and after 8 AM Friday.  At Hydronie, East Bank Essequibo, he said 86 millimeters of rain fell over the same period.

Chief Hydrometeorological Officer, Garvin Cummings said the rain is expected to ease around 3PM to 6PM

A section flooded Charlotte Street, Georgetown.

He explained that the flood has occurred because the rain fell at the same time there was high tide. Weather forecasters say the next high tide is at 12:38 PM and the next low tide will be 6:23 PM.

While Friday is the worst, wet conditions are expected for the next three to five days with a projected average of one inch in 24 hours

City Engineer, Colvern Venture told Demerara Waves Online News that most drainage structures are in working order.  Although a leak developed in the Kitty Pumping Station’s culvert, causing the soil to wash away and a section of that culvert to collapse, Venture said it is working at 90 percent capacity.

He explained that some temporary restrictions have been removed to allow for water to be discharged. “The pumps are not being starved of water,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

A huge sinkhole developed near the Kitty Pumping Station several days ago, and since then there has a been a joint effort by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the Georgetown City Council to fix the problem.

Venture said while the pumps across the city are discharging water, but they are being badly affected by garbage and other obstacles that still manage to pass through the grills.

“The pumps are going down often because of the garbage and other obstacles being thrown into the canals. Even though we have grill structures, you still have debris getting away from the grill,” the City Engineer said. Workers have been deployed, he said, to quickly identify and clear blocked areas near the pumps.

Venture said the Riverview Pump is currently being repaired and should be back in operation by Saturday or Sunday.

The City Engineer said flooding is also being caused by residents and businesses mainly in Kitty who have built over or have covered drains and alleyways.

A section of flooded Mahaica, East Coast Demerara.