[UPDATED] Greenvale residents feel unsafe as storm approaches

[UPDATED] Greenvale residents feel unsafe as storm approaches





A Greenvale resident looks on as water levels in the drain start to rise quickly on Tuesday. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

As the country braced on Tuesday for possible intense showers and/or thunderstorms, Greenvale Housing Development residents were becoming more worried and restless.

On Monday afternoon the Meteorological Office put the country under an orange-level tropical storm warning,

On Tuesday morning when Newsday visited the area, Greenvale residents said every time it rains, they have flashbacks of the night of October 20, 2018, when flooding left many marooned in their homes and hundreds had to evacuate.

Despite efforts by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to prevent a recurrence of what happened that night, the residents said they didn’t feel enough has been done to make them feel safe.

No one died or was injured as water seeped through homes and settled in the community for hours.

Damage was estimated to be in the millions of dollars, and though life has returned to normal, almost four years later, the anxiety and trauma of that long night still linger at the back of their minds.

Joan Gray told Newsday her family was unsettled but hoping for the best outcome.

“I’m here waiting to see if they hand out sandbags. I’m not seeing anything happening that would make me feel like we would be prepared in the event something happens, because we can’t be too sure.

“When the flood happened in 2018, it was caused by days of regular rain. This is different. I know we shouldn’t panic, but we are not sure if what they did after the last flood is enough to withstand what might happen. ”

She said she would be monitoring water levels outside, but had no plans to evacuate.

“We see a backhoe come in last week. I’m not sure if it’s from the corporation, but I hope it helps. I find they move a little too calmly. I haven’t seen anybody pass around announcing anything.

She said if a riverbank up the road gave way, “There is no way – even with the second retention pond – with the amount of the water from the flood years ago, no pond or sandbags can help. This is why evacuation plans should be happening.”

Another resident, Cimone Franklyn-Reid, told Newsday she ws worried because the first retention pond was almost full and the second pond had not been maintained.

The retention pond at Greenvale seems to already be almost full ahead of the arrival of a storm on Tuesday evening. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

She lives near the edge of the second pond and behind the first pond.

Franklyn-Reid recalled that her duplex was one of the first houses to flood.

“My children were upstairs screaming.

“It just happened so fast. First the drains were full, then it flowed over into the street and before we knew it, water was gushing into the downstairs.

“In less than ten minutes downstairs was full, the door got blocked and our cars, furniture and appliances were under water.

“We didn’t get time to run. We spent the night praying as the water rose to the top of the stairs.”

She is not satisfied enough is done to prepare Greenvale for heavy rains.

“The second pond has grass in it – look how long it’s that way. I shake my head every time I look out my bedroom window.

“But even with clean ponds and sandbags, if we get the same volume of water, those things can’t do anything for us.

“We have a community group chat and right now everyone has anxiety, because we are unsure what’s going to happen.”

Several other residents said they would arrange to evacuate if they had to.

In an e-mailed response to Newsday on Tuesday evening, the HDC said it had implemented various measures to reduce the likelihood of flooding at Greenvale Park, La Horquetta.

“This includes clearing the river courses, cleaning and widening the drains, installing new pumps, raising and extending the berms and constructing a connector road to La Horquetta to provide alternative access in an emergency.

“The HDC has also upgraded its emergency response plan and is working with various State Agencies and Regional Corporations.”

It added that it would continue to communicate with residents and would distribute sandbags and emergency kits within the week.

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

As the country braced on Tuesday for possible intense showers and/or thunderstorms, Greenvale Housing Development residents were becoming more worried and restless.

On Monday afternoon the Meteorological Office put the country under an orange-level tropical storm warning,

On Tuesday morning when Newsday visited the area, Greenvale residents said every time it rains, they have flashbacks of the night of October 20, 2018, when flooding left many marooned in their homes and hundreds had to to evacuate.

Despite efforts by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to prevent a recurrence of what happened that night, the residents said they didn’t feel enough has been done to make them feel safe.

No one died or was injured as water seeped through homes and settled in the community for hours.

Damage was estimated to be in the millions of dollars, and though life has returned to normal, almost four years later, the anxiety and trauma of that long night still linger at the back of their minds.

Joan Gray told Newsday her family was unsettled but hoping for the best outcome.

“I’m here waiting to see if they hand out sandbags. I’m not seeing anything happening that would make me feel like we would be prepared in the event something happens, because we can’t be too sure.

“When the flood happened in 2018, it was caused by days of regular rain. This is different. I know we shouldn’t panic, but we are not sure if what they did after the last flood is enough to withstand what might happen. ”

She said she would be monitoring water levels outside, but had no plans to evacuate.

“We see a backhoe come in last week. I’m not sure if it’s from the corporation, but I hope it helps. I find they move a little too calmly. I haven’t seen anybody pass around announcing anything.

She said if a riverbank up the road gave way, “There is no way – even with the second retention pond – with the amount of the water from the flood years ago, no pond or sandbags can help. This is why evacuation plans should be happening.”

Another resident, Cimone Franklyn-Reid, told Newsday she ws worried because the first retention pond was almost full and the second pond had not been maintained.

She lives near the edge of the second pond and behind the first pond.

Franklyn-Reid recalled that her duplex was one of the first houses to flood.

“My children were upstairs screaming.

“It just happened so fast. First the drains were full, then it flowed over into the street and before we knew it, water was gushing into the downstairs.

“In less than ten minutes downstairs was full, the door got blocked and our cars, furniture and appliances were under water.

“We didn’t get time to run. We spent the night praying as the water rose to the top of the stairs.”

She is not satisfied enough is done to prepare Greenvale for heavy rains.

“The second pond has grass in it – look how long it’s that way. I shake my head every time I look out my bedroom window.

“But even with clean ponds and sandbags, if we get the same volume of water, those things can’t do anything for us.

“We have a community group chat and right now everyone has anxiety, because we are unsure what’s going to happen.”

Greenvale resident Marcus Ignacio secures a flood gate in preparation for the pending storm on Tuesday evening. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Several other residents said they would arrange to evacuate if they had to.

In an e-mailed response to Newsday on Tuesday evening, the HDC said it had implemented various measures to reduce the likelihood of flooding at Greenvale Park, La Horquetta.

“This includes clearing the river courses, cleaning and widening the drains, installing new pumps, raising and extending the berms and constructing a connector road to La Horquetta to provide alternative access in an emergency.

“The HDC has also upgraded its emergency response plan and is working with various State Agencies and Regional Corporations.”

It added that it would continue to communicate with residents and would distribute sandbags and emergency kits within the week.






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