Monday 24 February, 2020

ODPM tells public: Brace for possibility of more floods

Members of the public are urged to take the necessary precaution to preserve life and property in light of scattered showers experienced across Trinidad and Tobago which is associated with a tropical wave approaching the island.

On Monday, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service issued a release which noted that an active Tropical Wave was located east of Trinidad and Tobago with accompanying showers and thundershowers.

ODPM Relief Officer Captain Neville Wint said while the rainfall does not compare to that experienced last Wednesday, the soil is still drenched with water and will likely be prone to flooding.

"My advice at this point in time is for persons to exercise a level of vigilance as the ground is already saturated with the amount of rainfall that we had last week. Met is predicting more rains today and we are anticipating that areas that are already impacted would be impacted again. Persons in the low lying areas are asked to exercise a little more vigilance."

Wint said all Regional Corporations have been notified of this new possibility and have activated their systems to render a response once reports start coming in of repeated flooding or flooding in new areas.

Meanwhile, the ODPM relief Officer responded to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s vow to review the State agency's “repeated failure” to ensure that they had personnel with the right aptitude and attitude to treat with natural disasters.

"The Prime Minister and the Minister of National Security have made their comments and therefore I have no comment on what was said then, but to await whatever decision the executive being the Cabinet, via the Minister of National Security would make, as it relates to the views of the Prime Minister."

Asked how he felt about the ODPM's response, Wint said the state-owned company will re-evaluate its reaction and take note of errors made to prevent any recurrence.

"Your question ma'am is asking me to analyse myself at a point in time where we are still dealing with a situation."

"At the end of this event, we will do an after action to which all the necessary action that was taken will be evaluated, if there are any gaps identified, the necessary steps will be taken to close those gaps. So at this point in time, it is not an issue of whether I am satisfied with the response or not is that we are dealing with the issues and at the end we will re-evaluate our response to the severe weather of Wednesday."

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