Speaking to media at Goodwill Industries, Fitzblackman Drive, after a visit to see the impact of the flood, Warner said, “flaps” would be installed in the Maraval river to prevent a backflow of water, drains will be widened, and a retention pond installed. Warner also visited the Princess Elizabeth Centre at Ariapita Avenue which was also severely affected.
Warner said the ministry was considering having a retention pond because the area was lower than the sea level, and it will “help contain the water which we shall release very slowly.”
The ministry is also considering the use of pumps to remove water from the affected facilities and divert it back to the river. “We are purchasing two pumps, so hopefully two pumps will help as well.”
A deadline of two weeks has been set for the remedial work to be done.
Warner insisted, “We are sticking to two weeks to get all that done. I know that is most uncharacteristic of a government department, but trust me, I am holding them to that.”
The Works Ministry, he said, was working “hand in hand” with the Port-of-Spain Corporation, using its technical advice. Responding to a question, Warner said he did not think relocating the Princess Elizabeth should be rushed until every effort was made to find solutions, and if these failed, the facility could be relocated.
Prior to visiting the Woodbrook area, Warner said he visited Beetham Gardens.
“We went to see some culverts that were blocked and water was not moving. We went to find out reasons for the blockage, and of course we saw tons of debris which we have to clear. Not only that, the culverts under the highway have collapsed, and that will have to be fixed, and some drains will have to be cleared again. They include drains close to SWMCOL (Solid Waste Management Company Ltd).” He said a visit to the Water and Sewerage Authority also took place to see if flooding impacted on the water system. “They are not,” Warner assured.
He was accompanied by Minister of Public Utilities, Emmanuel George, and the Ag CEO of WASA, Ganga Singh, and Chairman of SWMCOL, Suruj Baboolal. Kamaludeen Ghanny, managing director and CEO of Kardway Construction Ltd accompanied Warner during the visit to the Princess Elizabeth Centre, then to see the Maraval river and Goodwill Industries. A truck from Kardway was vacuuming silt from the box drains located at the bottom of Dennis Mahabir street, Woodbrook. Ghanny told Warner that the small box drains could not take the amount of water which flowed into them on Saturday, and this was why homes in the area were flooded.
Prior to the Woodbrook job, Kardway was vacuuming silt from drains along the East-West Corridor, from Grand Bazaar to Lifestyle Motors on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway. An official from Kardway said 30-35 truckloads of silt were removed from the 4?4 box drains. Car fenders and bumpers were among the items pulled out with the garbage from the drains.