Water entered houses at around 3 a.m. Residents could not save their valuables
For residents of Tallapalem, abutting the Howrah-Chennai National Highway, flooding of their houses in the small hours of Sunday was quite unexpected.
In spite of rain battering the district for the past six days, they had no inkling something would befall them. “It happened around 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. and had we anticipated it would have taken some precautions about our valuables,” says A Sitamma, 70, visibly shocked by the loss. She lives with her son-in-law and the house abutting the Highway is still surrounded by water from a breached Mavidigedda just as the Durgalammapeta and the nearby Z P High School were. She said the family lost their TV, a cellphone, utensils, rice and whatever was stocked as they climbed the terrace to save their lives.
Swami Naidu, a farmer, recounts that leaving everything just like that 15 to 20 persons living in his house climbed onto the terrace. “We just thought it was raining like it had been during the past few days. But the swollen stream had suddenly struck us,” Naidu who had given up hope about his two acres of sugarcane and paddy crops said.
When they sensed that water was entering the villager they ran to save their cattle. “The water came in like a big tide and I was almost drowned,” said Karri Govindu. He and others were able save four cattle while two were washed away.
Villagers have brought their cattle to the road leading to the railway track between Narsingapalle and Bayyaram and were taking care of them.
Gobburipalem and AS Peta across the railway track from Narsingapalle also suffered the same fate as suddenly water began entering their house almost to the level of five to six feet.
“Since it was around 4 a.m. and it was raining almost all through the night people could not sleep and some woke up to take care of their cattle or other work and realised that water was gushing in,” said Venkateswarlu. They alerted the others. Otherwise, people would just have been washed away.
He estimates that paddy and sugarcane in 1,000 acres each was lost in the three villages nearby.
At Sankaram, where standing crop was damaged by a breach to Yeleru canal B.N. Naidu was aghast that crop in 20 acres of his paddy field was lost. “Farmers appeared to be a cursed lost with crop nursed carefully by fertilizer and other inputs spending upwards of Rs.15,000 an acre being lost. Last year it was Neelam cyclone and this time heavy rain,” says a frustrated, 71-year-old Ramu.
Another farmer Lakshinarayana of Rebaka complains that when water flows nearby from Yeleru and they are in need it’s not given. When it breaches also no help comes forward, he regrets.