By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE body of the man who was swept away by flood waters on Monday in Williamsville was found by residents and Princes Town Municipal Police on Wednesday.
Anthony Walkes, 49, who suffers from a mental illness was crossing a bridge in Hardbargain when he was caught up in the floods.
A search had ensued by the Princes Town Regional Corporation (PTRC), municipal police officers and residents.
Walkes body was found at 9.10 am.
Chairman of the Princes Town Regional Corporation, Gowrie Roopnarine visited the scene where Walkes body was found. He also met with Walkes family members and made arrangements with Dass Funeral Home. The funeral home offered to handle the funeral arrangements at no cost to Walkes family. Walkes lived at New Grant.
Roopnarine told AZPNews.com, “To visit the scene and see the body of the man lying there, it was very emotional for me. It was the first time, as a result of flooding, we have lost some-one in the Princes Town district. It is a very sad time for everyone who are now very concerned for their own safety.”
Roopnarine who is also the local government councillor for the area said Walkes body was found 150 feet away from where he was last seen at a bridge at Halls Trace in the river called by residents the Black River the main watercourse for the district.
He said because of Walkes mental state, he was not aware of the dangers of the flood waters.
The PTRC’s Disaster Management Unit (DMU) spent all day on Wednesday out on the field assessing damages down to homes.
Roopnarine said some 100 homes in the Princes Town region were affected by Monday’s floods with 40 in the Hardbargain/Williamsville district alone. About 25 families lost almost everything.
Residents are now pleading with the Ministry of Works and Transport to have the river dredged as soon as possible.
Roopnarine said, “The last time the river was dredged was in 2010. Because it is a main waterway and all the other smaller watercourses flow into this one with all the trees and bamboo and other things that flow into the river, it is now in dire need of cleaning and we will really appreciate it if the Minister of Works could have this river dredged. It is the cry of all the villagers here now.”
And in an unrelated incident, an auto body repairman drowned while fishing at a private pond in Barrackpore.
Police reports are that Reachard Ali, 37 was last seen alive at around 4.30 pm on Tuesday proceeding to catch fish at the pond located approximately 600 metres behind his home at Realize Road in Barrackpore.
At around 5 pm, relatives were informed that Ali was not seen in the area of the pond. His cousin Naudhard Ali, went into the waters and retrieved Ali’s body. The EHS was contacted and efforts made to resuscitate him were futile. The police was also contacted and responded and members of the Princes Town Fire Services assisted in getting the body to the roadway. Cpl Nazrudeen is continuing further investigations.