According to reports, an employee of the home telephoned the Wrightson Road Fire Headquarters shortly after 4 pm, pleading with officers to assist in relocating children at the facility.
Flood waters about three feet high were said to be in and around the home.
Fire officers from Woodbrook also assisted in the rescue operation and the children were eventually taken to safer grounds.
According to reports, flooding began along Ariapita Avenue shortly after 3 pm yesterday after a heavy torrential downpour, resulting in several areas near the Princess Elizabeth Home being overcome by flood waters.
“The whole compound is flooded and now we have a massive clean-up operation but the Fire Services are assisting us. It is just mud everywhere,”one employee said when contacted by Sunday Newsday.
Saying there were only about eight clients at the Centre when the flooding occurred (most of the children had gone to their homes for the weekend), the employee said the facility usually had a complement of 45 resident children and about 40 who attend school there. She urged parents to make arrangements to have their children kept at home tomorrow to facilitate the clean-up exercise.
Yesterday, a statement from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) said its chief executive officer, Dr Stephen Ramroop, and other staff visited the home to assess and supervise relief efforts.
“With the assistance of the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross, the children have been removed from the flooded rooms and quarters and are being housed in the school area of their home,” the ODPM said in the release.
“Arrangements are being made to have meals and other urgently needed items provided to the home.”
Residents of the area said it was the first time they had experienced such heavy flooding in the Woodbrook area. In fact, fire officers also had to use boats to rescue residents near the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Sunday Newsday also understands that the Maraval River also broke its banks yesterday, resulting in heavy flooding in La Seiva.
Employees of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation were also up to late yesterday assisting in the clean-up operation in that area. However, by late afternoon the flood waters had receded.
The ODPM said officials were conducting assessments of the damage to provide relief to affected residents
Flooding was also reported in the St Ann’s area and parts of Central and South Trinidad.
With the start of the rainy season, the ODPM yesterday said it had alerted all regional corporations to be on standby to assist members of the public affected by natural disasters.
“We remind all citizens that if they have been affected by flooding, they must contact their municipal corporation or the ODPM at 800 6376. Additionally, the hurricane season has begun and as a result, we remind citizens to continue to take the necessary measures to safeguard life and property,” the ODPM added.
Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing also assured last evening that crews from the borough corporation would have been out in full force.
“It is going to be a long evening,” he said.
Lee Sing said the flooding again highlighted the need for retention ponds in the capital city.