It never occurred to me that Soufriere on Tuesday and Wednesday received another serious bashing from mother nature on the scale of a “mini-Tomas”, further exacerbating the sores, scars and fractures inflicted by “Mother Tomas” in October last year.
|THE PM WAS THERE LATE INTO THE NIGHT ASSESSING THE DAMAGE|
There were no giant landslides in Minnie, Fond St. Jacques or Columbette, no 90-miles-per-hour winds, no lives were lost; but the torrential rains, raging Soufriere River, the floods and silt galore from Wingsville to the Soufriere Hospital and environs certainly brought memories of Hurricane Tomas.
|SILT AT GUSTAVE'S SERVICE STATION|
A major diversion and expansion of the Soufriere River in Fond Cacoa resulted in significant damage to adjoining properties. The river course did not only change but also widened by an estimated 50 yards. The “new” river bed - littered with boulders, fallen trees and debris - looked a battlefield where Mother Nature lived behind a trail of untold devastation and unprecedented havoc.
Like a monument signifying the destruction by Tomas, remnants of a collapsed building stood at a tottering angle on the bank of the river. About three hundred feet further up, a lone septic tank stood on the bank of the river as if begging for mercy from the elements; apparently, the water level came perilously close to the house that it served. The occupants were very worried about their fate.
|THE DEMOLISHED BRIDGE: SHOULD IT BE A PRIORITY?|
In Wingsville (opposite what is notoriously referred to as the “Chastenet Bridge”) the images were equally gruesome. A section of that community had not slept for two straight days. Serious flood damage had been inflicted on the sorry victims with water, silt and debris invading the privacy of their homes up to knee level. Siltation was heavy and ubiquitous from Wingsville, past the Soufriere Hospital and down to the Gustave’s Shell Service station. Apparently, the stockpiles of sand deposited on the Old Trafford playing field were constraining the easy egress of water and silt from the Soufriere River, its “tributaries” and the drains to the sea, resulting in the heavy “backing up” of the water along the lower end of Bridge Street. The silt accumulation at Gustave gas Station was simply overwhelming.
|STOCKPILE AT OLD TRAFFORD: IS IT A PROBLEM?|
Access into Fond St. Jacques and Zeno via Cressland was cut out.
Why did the UWP government turn a blind eye to the Tomas problems? Why would Chastenet spend so much money on a Stage-show when those problems were strangling Soufriere? Why would the lighting of the stadium in a disaster area and the reconstruction of the Soufriere Bridge with no apparent structural issues gain absolute priority over the sufferings of the Soufriere people?
|THE PARLIAMENTARIANS GATHERED AROUND THE PM|
The dire situation in Soufriere bears a striking parallelism to Katrina in USA during the Bush presidency.
I hope the new government answers to the problems of the people of Soufriere with a sense of humanity and urgency.
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