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Panic as flood wreaks havoc in Rivers, Bayelsa

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Downpour on Tuesday inflicted hardship on residents of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City council areas of Rivers State, who were already observing the stay-at-home directive to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The rains, which lasted for about three hours, submerged homes in Rumuigbo axis of the Rivers capital city.

The flood also led to gridlocks on Aba Road, as The Guardian gathered that the drainages in the area had been blocked for years with no desilting or attempts to construct new ones.

The affected route is strategic to the economy of the state being the road that connects the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); the Government House; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); the judiciary; the House of Assembly as well as the state secretariat, among others.

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The residents, however, called on the state government to open up the drainages and water channels as well as construct new ones to ease the flow of water in Rivers.

An inhabitant of Rumuigbo, Mr. Chima Atonye, said: You can imagine our situation. We were forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our shops are locked down and now the flood has sacked us from our houses. Just tell me, where do we go to from here?

Another resident, Mrs. Edna Tambari, submitted: “The situation has remained like this, and we call on the state government to do something urgently to help us tackle this challenge because, as it is, we can’t travel to our villages. All the borders are closed. We need urgent help.”

In a related development, a massive flood Monday stirred a pandemonium among Yenagoa residents and destroyed buildings worth millions of naira in Bayelsa, including the state broadcasting corporation, Radio Bayelsa.

The storm, which began suddenly at 9:30 pm, took the indigenes by surprise, leaving them scampering for safety in the 30 minutes the rage reigned with its accompanying damages to roofs.

Parents and shopowners, who were still outside, hurriedly shut economic activities.

The rainstorm brought down the mast of the state-owned radio station which also hosts the transmitters of Radio Nigeria’s Creek FM and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

The Acting General Manager of Radio Bayelsa, Mrs. Pere Obobo, described the incident as a monumental loss.

Also affected were the transmitters of NTA Yenagoa and Radio Nigeria’s Creek FM as explained by the General Manager, Sunday Udosen.

The Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Benson Agadaga who was among the early visitors at the station, assured the people that government would fix the damage.

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