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Severe flood at Grove, East Bank Demerara

Homes, businesses and yards in a section of Grove, East Bank Demerara, were Wednesday night inundated by flood waters from the nearby Demerara River as a result of a damaged koker (sluice), authorities said.

The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) said the Diamond Secondary School has been identified as a temporary shelter for residents affected by the breached koker in the area.

A police spokesman said that at about 5:30 Wednesday afternoon, the koker at Market Street, Grove, “broke away”, causing flooding to the immediate surroundings. Reports were that the water was more than eight inches high. The Neighbourhood Democratic Council was on the ground trying to fix the drainage facility.

Residents are urged to call the CDC’s hotline for further assistance and to access the shelter by calling 600-7500 or 623-1700.

Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Agriculture Minister Zulficar Mustapha visited the area to assess the situation and make “arrangements to bring relief to residents.”

According to Minister Mustapha, a contractor was summoned to the location to begin work immediately. He explained that stop logs will be installed temporarily at the sluice until the original door is repaired.

“The sluice door needs maintenance; therefore, I am putting a system in place which will ensure that the NDIA (National Drainage & Irrigation Authority) has a programme of regular repairs and maintenance to these structures.”

Meanwhile, equipment is being mobilised for the repair of the sluice door. Prime Minister Phillips told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that in addition to providing shelter for the night, the CDC would on Thursday distribute sanitisation and other relief supplies to affected households in the community.

“We are really saddened by what has happened here tonight, and we will make all efforts (to) correct the breach at the koker and to bring relief,” PM Phillips said.