Torrential downpour hits Linden
By Joe Chapman
Guyana Chronicle
May 20, 2003

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FLOOD waters once again hit Linden and Linmine's Machine Shop forcing operations to a temporary halt from a torrential downpour of rain Sunday evening.

Severe flooding was experienced in Industrial Area and Rainbow City in Mackenzie. All the housing schemes in Wismar as well as First, Second and Third Alleys were among areas in the community that suffered.

Yesterday Regional Chairman, Mortimer Mingo, Regional Executive Officer (REO) Basil Benn, VSO engineer Ogama Bonnyface, Information Officer Leon Roberts and other regional officials visited the affected communities.

Mingo said about 80 per cent of the residents in Industrial Area suffered severe flooding to their apartments and homes, and there are reported losses of poultry and kitchen gardens which were totally submerged.

Persons living in lower flats have also been completely flooded out with water which in some instance measured some two and a half feet in some homes.

In the Rainbow City community where President Jagdeo visited during the Linden strike, braving almost knee-high floods waters, the Region 10 Regional Chairman said the situation now appears to be about twice as worse.

Judging from the situation then and what obtains now, Mingo said there is definitely a problem there.

Similarly, the damage by the flood waters to residents in First Second and Third Alleys of Wismar include loss of personal belongings, livestock and foodstuff.

Commenting on the situation in Victory Valley, the regional official said as a result of the heavy rains and flooding, there has been a landslide of a significant portion of Wismar Hill resulting in residents in addition to the flood water having to cope with sand.

The landslide has also caused almost all of the drains to be silted with sand.

There are also reports of flooding and silting and loss of personal and other effects in Canvas City.

The Regional Chairman said that having done an on-the-spot visit, he yesterday morning contacted Minister of Local Government,Harriperesaud Nokta, and apprised him of the situation.

Mingo said he has also requested some form of assistance for the suffering residents.

Meanwhile, several residents occupying spots aback of the populated communities in Wismar but on the West Bank of Linden, are now fearful that the threat of erosion lurks.

The now problematic and touchy issue is as a result of these individuals having ignored initial pleas for them to be relocated.

Now that some have erected permanent structures, the begging question is who will bear the cost of removal and relocation to safer areas, which have not yet identified.

Also, the fact that persons had been occupying the area for years has compounded the task that the regional and town council officials have until now been unable to arrest

It will be recalled that it was the same Rainbow City area that was seriously affected during a recent visit by President Jagdeo, wne residents of Linden protested the spate of power outages and water woes in the mining town, in the process blocking the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge.

The heavy rains were enough to affect Linmine's Machine Shop where critical repair works are being effected to put Kiln 13, the lone functional calcin kiln of the bauxite industry presently, back on stream. It is expected that will be back up and running on Sunday night.
Kiln 14 is still out of operation.

The heavy rains have started just as the electricity situation is being restored to some level of normalcy, with the coming on line of the steam plant of the Linden Power Company (LPC), thereby improving the water situation which was also affected.

Despite this improvement, there are still numerous persons in the Linden community who are hoping for water to run through their taps again, especially at Amelia's Ward, Block 22, Blueberry Hill Wismar, and among other areas.

One affected Rainbow City resident, Winston Williams, a pensioner, in an invited comment, after the rains on Sunday night said, "the whole of Rainbow City is flooded" and that they were having the full load of water in their homes.

Williams noted that the Linden Town Council had done some work along the old train line, but pointed out that "the drainage trench is shallow and the water needs no depth before it moves into yards and spread all over. Even the Salvation Army Hostel in Rainbow City is affected, " Williams said.

Williams wanted to know why some other arrangements were not made to correct the flooding, as the heavy rains seem to signal that the May-June rainy weather pattern has started.

Meanwhile, Minister Nokta has asked the Region 10 administration to exercise caution and take all necessary precautions to avert any disaster.

The Government Information Agency in a release said Cabinet will intervene after receiving and evaluating reports from the Region.

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