School children, vehicles trapped in heavy rains in Takoradi

Hundreds of school children and commuters became stranded on Tuesday, when a five-hour downpour flooded the frontage of St Mary Boys Senior High School, at Apowa, on the Takoradi-Agona Highway in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region.

The rains, which began at about 3:00p.m. and continued to 8:00 p.m., submerged some areas in Apowa, including the police station and Great Samjay Academy, and also trapped vehicles plying the Elubo-Abidjan sub-regional highway.

Swampy lands at the New Amanful andFunkoJunction were also flooded due to the absence of drainage systems there.

In the end, vehicular movements were obstructed as movement on that corridor ceased.

School children were left stranded in buses and taxis midstream, while others, who had a hectic time to wade through the gushing waters, were helped by volunteers by ferrying them to the other end of the road, until the Marine Police, led by the Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Victor Adusah-Poku, came to the scene to avert the looming danger.

The security agency provided life jackets to assist the people to cross the flooded places.

The Ghanaian Timesencountered a young man hoisting his bicycle mid-air while he struggled to ferry to another end. Authorities at St Mary Boys disallowed both day students and boarders, to go out even after the downpour.

Victims, including some school children and commuters, narrated in interviews they granted the Ghanaian Timestheir harrowing experiences, stressing “this is not the first time the rains have flooded Iowa road, but the authorities seem unconcerned”.

They, therefore, called on the government, to“as soon as possible address the flooding situation on the Elubo-TakoradiHighway.”

A cameraman with UTV, James Akwetey, reported that he went to the Ewusiejoe site to take some footages in the community and on his return at about 3:00p.m. encountered the flood at St Mary’s Boys.

He spoke about how he and others had to assist some school children trapped in vehicles to cross the flood waters from the Apowa end to Takoradi.

“When I got to the scene,I captured vehicles submerged or turned upside down in the flood.Other properties in the vicinity were also inundated with flood waters.“Together with some volunteers, we had to ferry some school children trapped in taxis and buses to safety. Meanwhile, cables on a High Voltage pylons nearby, were emitting sparks and so we alerted the Regional Police Commander to warn all drivers to switch off their engines.

“Again, there was an oil spill from a nearby filling station worsening the danger at the flood scene. The Ewusiejoe and Hotopo areas were also affected. It’s a harrowing experience and I was traumatised when I got home at Assakae at about 8:p.m.,” he said.

The Western Regional Minister, KwabenaOkyereDarko-Mensah, early yesterday morning, led the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), to assess the flooding situation in some parts of the region.

Meanwhile, the rains will continue as weather reports shows high precipitations along the coast.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, APOWA

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