Residents of Goodland Gardens, Christ Church say they are beginning to feel like castaways marooned on an unknown tropical island with nowhere to go.
They say they are used to heavy flooding whenever it rains, but nothing like what they have experienced since Hurricane Maria, which passed on the outskirts of Barbados yesterday morning, dumping several inches of rain on the island.
A visit to the area today by Barbados TODAY revealed a lake with water, and residents virtually trapped in their homes.
In fact, the high water made it virtually impossible to get to the residents, so we spoke by phone to Wayne Scantlebury who has lived in the area with his wife and two daughters for close to five years.
He said while he was used to the flooding, this episode was particularly troubling because his family simply could not leave, forcing them to be absent from work.
“It’s terrible this time around. Up to now the water still hasn’t gone off. We couldn’t get out to work this morning. Three of us couldn’t get to work,” he explained.
The frustrated Scantlebury said being trapped in his own home was not a good feeling and he hoped no one in the house would have to leave in an emergency.
“I would just like that if the authorities can look into finding a solution to fix the issue. It’s a beautiful place to live, just that one problem,” he said.
The members of the Scantlebury family were not the only ones prevented from going about their daily duties by the high waters.
An elderly couple, Richard and Daywantee Chaturgun, also complained of being stranded in their homes.
The Guyanese couple has lived in the area for over 25 years, and the two are no strangers to flooding. Even then, Daywantee, who spoke on her husband’s behalf, told Barbados TODAY she had wanted to get groceries since yesterday, but was unable to because of the water.
“We are from Guyana, but we have lived on this spot since 1991. This happens every time the rain falls. I don’t even have groceries in the house. I have to wait until the water goes down. I had to go change the pension cheque yesterday but I couldn’t. When the food goes I guess we would drink sugar water until I can get out,” she said.
Chaturgun said she was looking forward to a lasting solution to the problem, as the situation was stressful for her.
“If my foot was good I could try to walk through and go get my groceries, but I am afraid. I might fall in the water so I can’t risk that. It’s just horrible for me right now,” she added.
While the residents of Goodland Gardens were crying out for relief, the Drainage Division acted quickly today to ease the floodwaters that yesterday forced the closure of some businesses in St Lawrence Gap.
When Barbados TODAY arrived just after 1 p.m. today a team from the division had already been busy pumping off the remaining water.
However, one resident whose home was inaccessible yesterday, said while she was glad for the prompt assistance, the authorities needed to do something urgently to eliminate the problem.
“I’ve been here for 32 years. This is not a new problem. My wall has fallen down today because over the years the constant water going on it has damaged my yard completely. The soakaways are always full. What these guys are doing, they’re pumping off the water now and sending it to a well, maybe they could utilize the wells more often,” said the resident, who did not want to be named.
She also pointed a finger of blame at some of the businesses, which she said had compounded an already bad situation.
“The flooding, that’s normal. We are accustomed to it. But what really angers me is that people can do things to make it worst. If you look at the level he [one of the business owners] has raised his businesses to and he has guttered all his roofs so all the water comes straight down in the road, that’s ridiculous. And that’s illegal. You should not be able to cause those things. The other one [another business owner] now has blocked off the access to the sea and that shouldn’t be either,” the angry woman said.