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Plan in the works to fix flood issues in Christ Church communities

by Barbados Today
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The Drainage Division of the Ministry of Transport and Works said on Tuesday that it is working on developing an engineering plan to improve drainage within Dover and St Lawrence Gap, after complaints about recurring flooding in the Christ Church communities.

The assurance came on the heels of community activist Adrian Donovan expressing concern about flooding after heavy rains, and calling on residents, businesses and the relevant government agencies to take action to fix the problem.

Heavy showers and flash flooding last weekend impacted the Dover, St Lawrence Gap and Maxwell Coast Road communities, impeding pedestrian and vehicular access to the areas.

“I am really concerned about the flooding last weekend. One of the main points is next to Infinity in St Lawrence Gap. Every time the rain falls, it is almost impossible to pass there. And then, when you go further up, on both sides of the Dover Playing Field, water never used to settle there years ago, but now that area also becomes impassable sometimes.

“Then there are avenues in Dover and Maxwell Coast Road that need to be sorted out. So these particular areas are nothing new. I know in some instances, it could be a case that the elevation of the road is a problem and also, maybe an increase in retention wells in the area could be looked at,” Donovan said.

He suggested that the recurring flooding needs to be thoroughly investigated.

“There could be many reasons for the flooding, but for sure, the water is not running off. The wells and the drains definitely need to be cleaned on a regular basis because whenever there is a heavy downpour of rain, certain parts of the community become impassable.

“This area is a tourist belt, and therefore we should try to rectify any issues that would turn back visitors. This community is not just an ordinary community; this is one of the areas that bring foreign exchange into the country. It has developed itself as one of the leading tourist activity areas, but then you have these situations that turn off the guests and we need to do something about it,” he said.

The activist said while he was aware that the Drainage Division in the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) is under pressure, he hoped authorities would find a resolution to the flooding soon.

Donovan added: “I am also of the firm belief that some residents and business operators can also assist when we have such a downpour. All it calls for is getting a shovel and clearing the drain and the pathway to let the water flow. It makes no sense [blaming] any particular agency or organisation; they could only do so much. I think all of us have to play our part.”

In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Transport and Works said the Drainage Division was working to improve drainage in the affected neighbourhoods.

“The Drainage Division is further seeking to develop an engineering plan to improve drainage within Dover and St Lawrence Gap,” it said.
According to the ministry, the day before the heavy rainfall on Sunday, the Drainage Divison cleared several outfall drains in Oistins and other areas on the south coast, including Graeme Hall and Needham’s Point. Outfall drains at Brandon’s Beach and opposite London Bourne Towers in Bridgetown were also cleared, it said, noting that this is a critical flood mitigation technique as blockages increase the chance of flooding in low-lying areas.

After the flooding, the statement said, the Drainage Division also responded to flood-affected districts around the island.

“A pump team was assigned to pump excess flood water in Dover and St Lawrence Gap once the heavy rainfall subsided,” it noted.

(AH)

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