THE more than seven days of flooding in Dagupan City had resulted in more than P147 million in damages, some P37 million in agriculture and P110 million in infrastructure, according to Mayor Belen Fernandez.
Dagupan bore the brunt of the flood caused by days of monsoon rains, exacerbated by the collapse of an earth dike along the Sinocalan River in Barangay Alibago, Sta. Barbara and the daily high tide along the coastal areas.
City Agriculture Officer Emma Molina said the flood damaged P36 million of milkfish after 90 percent of the fishponds reportedly overflowed.
Many of the city’s business establishments continue to undertake clearing operations at press time, many of whom have occupied the sidewalks with their damaged display stands for drying under the sun.
Even the city hall’s office equipment were not spared by the flood as well.
Mayor Fernandez said relief operations in all flooded barangays were already 95 percent complete and all evacuees, particularly those who were sheltered at the Dagupan City Astrodome already returned to their homes.
Fernandez met with Second District Engineer Editha Manuel on July 31 to discuss possible engineering intervention to lessen the flooding in Dagupan, considered as the catch basin of all run off water from the uplands before draining to the Lingayen Gulf.
One measure seen is to speed up the dredging of the Calmay River, particularly at the mouth where sandbars have already formed.
Another is the continuous diking of the Pantal River from Lasip Chico up to Bonuan Sabangan already started through the initiative of former Rep. Gina de Venecia and continued by her son, Rep. Christopher de Venecia.
Mayor Fernandez said the city government will step up the elevation of all low-lying roads beyond the flood level to ease the plight of residents.
CHECK GATES WERE PROPOSED TO EASE TIDAL FLOODING
Meanwhile, the city government is mulling the construction of check gates to ease the flooding in Dagupan caused by high tide occurring in the city regularly.
This was revealed by City Engineer Virginia Rosario who proposed this when she appeared before the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) last week before the city was declared under the state of calamity.
Noting that the recent widespread flood in Dagupan was exacerbated by high tide from rivers connected to the Lingayen Gulf, Rosario said the check gate will be closed when high tide occurs and opened when low tide sets in.
But she revealed that the check gates cannot contain the flood coming from the uplands, specifically from the Sinocalan River in Sta. Barbara that drains its water to the Lingayen Gulf.
Residents noticed that during high tide, water from the rivers backflows to the streets through garbage canals.
Rosario did not give any estimate of costs involved for the project and where the check gates can be installed. (Leonardo Micua)
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