Sunday 24 March, 2019

River levels subside, but more rain expected

While an adverse weather alert issued by the T&T Meteorological Service (Met Office) has been downgraded from Orange Level to Yellow Level, citizens are still advised that there is a high chance of heavy showers or thunderstorm activity in a few areas, which can lead to street or flash flooding.

Meanwhile, a Riverine Flood Alert has been downgraded from Red Level to Orange Level and remains in effect up to Friday as additional rainfall is expected in the coming days.

The Met Office in updated alerts on Tuesday warned that river levels are currently near threshold values in some parts, especially along the Caroni basin.

Some parts of the country are still experiencing flooding, while flood waters have begun receding in other places – allowing relief efforts and cleanup exercises to take place in areas most affected by heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding over the weekend.

The Met Office notes that while the river levels are decreasing, it will take some time, especially since rainfall is still forecast.

A high risk to public safety, livelihoods and property still exists in these areas, the Met Office said.

In its forecast for the next three days, the Met Office notes the possibility of thunderstorm activity over the South, West and North of Trinidad due to the effects of low level convergence.

There is the chance of street or flash flooding.

Citizens are also advised that landslips or landslides are possible.

The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) is advising citizens to continue to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to preserve life and property, given that adverse weather conditions persist.

The NEOC has advised people to protect themselves and family members from contaminants in flood waters.

Floodwaters may carry silt, raw sewage, and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.

These can make food unsafe and cause diseases.

The NEOC has given these tips:

1. After heavy rainfall, stay inside until water levels have subsided;

2. Do not walk, play or drive through flood waters of unknown depth and current;

3. If you must walk through a flood, use a stick to determine the firmness of the ground as well as the depth of the water in front of you;

4. Wear personal protective equipment, including rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles during clean-up of affected areas. Wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeves and full-length pants;

5. Use rubber or latex gloves to protect your hands;

6. Keep children and pets out of the affected area until clean-up has been completed.

7. Open as many windows as possible to allow air flow;

8. Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and household bleach solution;

9. After completing the clean-up, wash your hands with soap and clean water;

10. Wash all clothes worn during the clean-up in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.

Official updates on weather forecasts, alerts, warnings and cancellations are issued by the Met Office and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM). 


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