The Barbados Water Authority is reporting tonight that it was well prepared to respond to the passage of Tropical Storm Kirk.
And General Manager Keithroy Halliday is attributing much of its readiness to the commitment of BWA staff who “manned the stations they should have throughout the night.”
While admitting that being 100 per cent ready is always a challenge, Halliday told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that the company’s staff, some of whom were on call, responded without hesitation.
“And we believe that this really contributed to minimizing what would have possibly happened in terms of us scrambling and getting to do what we had to do. Granted, we did have some stations that were down . . . with the exception of one because of some electrical outages,” the BWA boss said.
Halliday explained that workers moved quickly to put generators into operation, adding that the BWA had the foresight to acquire a number of generators ahead of time.
He said the BWA and the Barbados Light & Power Company even competed against each other in a race to get each other’s generators up and running first.
“I am happy to report that in some instances they beat us to it and other instances maybe we beat them to it. But we have had an excellent relationship with the Barbados Light & Power Company over the years and that sort of jovial jostling over the last couple of hours also demonstrated that type of unique relationship that we have enjoyed over the years,” Halliday noted.
In the meantime, he said his technical staff continue to work on repairing those stations which were down to get them operating as soon as possible.
The waterworks company boss reported that the Bowmanston Pumping Station was deliberately offline as normal practice during weather events, but was now back in operation.
“So our decision to take it off early at 3.30 this morning was a wise one because we were able to minimize the disturbance in that particular area. So we were able to put that back online to restore water in that particular area,” he stated.
Halliday said that Hampden Station which supplies Rising Sun which in turn supplies Providence and a number of areas was also down for a short period affecting several areas.
“But we were able to get Hampden up and running. Therefore we have seen some advancement in that system . . . and therefore those areas are beginning to receive water supply,” he said.
He also reported deploying a number of water tankers to several parishes such as St Lucy, St John, St James, St Thomas and St Andrew, not withstanding the fact that “we felt relatively comfortable that we could get the supplies back up and running. We just wanted to make sure that residents experienced minimum disruption.” a
He said the largest tank also went to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) because that institution had a problem with its pump. “And I think that is going rather well,” he added.
Halliday was also pleased that the sewage treatment plant withstood the impact of Tropical Storm Kirk without any real incident.
However, he noted that there were three manholes which were dislodged due to the water pressure from the flooding, but were quickly resealed.