Mahdia hit by worst flooding in decades

Last Updated on Friday, 9 June 2017, 13:52 by Denis Chabrol

Several houses in the valley of Mahdia are Friday morning flooded and road access to the airstrip has been cut off, residents and officials said.

Region 8 (Potaro-Siparuni) Chairman, Bonaventure Fredericks told Demerara Waves Online News that the unprecedented flood was the result of extremely heavy overnight rainfall.

He said in some areas, houses of the more than 500 residents have been inundated. While schools and Region 8 administrative offices are opened, a number of teachers have not attended school, Fredricks said.

“We never had the water to this level. It is high this morning- really high. All the houses are under water. No loss of life so far,” he said. Businesswoman, Paula Herman said road transportation has ground to a halt. A lot of houses are under water and right now minibuses cannot go out or come in. It’s the main route going to the airstrip… It’s the entire main road going in and out of Mahdia that is under water due to the heavy rainfall,” she told Demerara Waves Online News.

The businesswoman said this is the worst flooding she has seen in Mahdia for more than 30 years.

In the aftermath of previous floods, he said residents and businesses have been urged to relocate to higher ground but they have ignored those calls. “This has been going on for some years and we asked people to relocate and they seem not to make any move,” he said.

The Regional Chairman said parts of the road going to Princeville “have been eaten away” by two feet and a roadway at Tiger Creek in the vicinity of Sam Sealey Hill is under seven feet of water.  Fredericks said repairs would be possible only after the flood waters recede.

He said the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has been updated, but he is confident that the Regional Administration would be able to provide relief residents and repairs to the roads. “There is not such a great need that we cannot handle at this time but we have to wait until the water go down to assess how much help we can give to the persons affected,” he said.

Less than one month ago, severe flooding caused by heavy rainfall dislocated almost 1,000 residents in several communities in another part of Region 8. The CDC, private companies and relief organisations had rushed emergency supplies to the residents there.