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Drains being assessed after flooding

  • Vehicles impacted by flooding which occurred mostly in the central areas of New Providence on Tuesday. FILE

JAYME C. PINDER
Guardian Staff Reporter
jayme@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 14, 2017

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Minister of Works Desmond Bannister said yesterday he ordered the drainage engineer at the ministry to assess the drainage system in New Providence after several areas were flooded after it rained on Tuesday.

He also noted that the flooding could be as a result of high tide or land reclamation and not necessarily that the drains are overdue for cleaning as asserted by some.

“The Ministry of Works has a system in place for cleaning drains,” Bannister told The Nassau Guardian at Parliament on Wednesday.

“The second thing I think a lot of us have to remember is that a lot of what we are looking at down here is reclaimed land.

“When there is high tide, the water is going to come up.

“There is no drainage system in the world, that when we get high tide and the rain that can stop that.

“And so I’m looking to see what was the cause of the problem yesterday whether it had anything to do with the tides, what were the issues that were involved and we’re going to address those.

“But we have to remember the genesis of this area and remember that nature always comes back to reclaim its own.

“My drainage engineer is looking at it.

“He will provide me with a full report.

“Whatever is behind that report, I am fully prepared to disclose it.”

On Tuesday, images and videos circulated on social media of flooding, mostly in the central areas of New Providence.

Some cars were halfway under water in Harbor Bay.

On Bay Street, people could hardly walk through the water.

Some cars even stalled out.

Bannister said a number of people are contracted to clean drains and to do so regularly.

He said, “When they do that and they clean the drains, then certainly we ought not to try to blame them for the issues of flooding that we see that come about for other reasons than drains.

“But if they did not, I will find out.”

Pinewood Gardens has been flooding for years.

Relatively small amounts of rain can lead to roads and yards being covered in water.

Bannister said the government is aware of that problem and will have to budget properly for it as it is a major project.

“Pinewood Gardens’ drains are a multimillion-dollar project,” he said.

“It is a very extensive project.

“It will involve the government having to take back some land.

“It is a very expensive project and we are going to have to budget the funds if we’re going to do it.”

In 2013, officials responsible for drainage said there was not much more the ministry could do to alleviate flooding in the low-lying communities as New Providence’s drainage infrastructure is “maxed out”.

Later that year, former Prime Minister Perry Christie promised that his government would soon roll out a plan to improve conditions in the Pinewood area.

That never came to fruition.

Former Member of Parliament for the area Khaalis Rolle also said at the time, that he was looking for a permanent solution to the area’s long-standing flooding problems but said that every possible fix previously considered would cost tens of millions of dollars.

 

 

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