New Roads Held Up--Vanterpool; No Blame Game For Flooding

Melissa Edwards, Senior Journalist | 9 Comments
August 11, 2017 7:50 am AST
Photo Credit: Javon Liburd/BVI Platinum News
Nothing could have prevented the flooding that occurred on Monday, and no one should be blamed for the drainage system not being able to withstand the massive flow of water, caused by the tropical wave. This is according to Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Minister of Communications and Works.

The Minister also said that the roads recently rehabilitated, under the government's major infrastructure programme of over $11M, held up under the severe circumstances.

"The roads that we just built are 95 percent intact, which goes to show the way we designed them and built them, especially with the drainage, have helped us to maintain the good roads," Hon. Vanterpool told BVI Platinum News.

He mentioned some of the roads, including Soldier Hill; over Brandywine Bay hill; Parham Town road leading to Beef Island; and Sea Cows Bay. However, the Minister noted that some roads experienced minor damage.

"...Except on the Hope Hill road where we had undermining of the road in a major way, the road itself is intact...The road for example that we overplayed from the roundabout at Port Purcell to Road Town roundabout, although major flooding happened and the water settled on the road that caused some breakages there," he explained.

Minister Vanterpool explained that the roads such as Joe's Hill, which were badly damaged are old, and noted that Joe's Hill road has not gotten attention in some 20 years.

"Asphalt deals with water not very well so (as long as) water gets under it, it’s a problem...The new roads are holding up, but the older roads have problem," he stated.

Hon. Vanterpool said that he is unaware if any of the government's major projects being severely affected. He however, at the time could not speak to the Brandywine Bay Project.

Defending Drainage System

Touching on the drainage, the Works Minister said that he will not be blaming anyone, because he couldn't see any drainage system withstanding that magnitude of water.

There have been concerns raised that the drainage system is poor and also views that the dumping of garbage indiscriminately, contributed to the massive flooding.

"That (garbage) helped to block some of the bridges in Road Town and caused the overflow, but the extent of the water that was there, I don’t know if anything would have stopped the kind of flooding that we had," Hon. Vanterpool stated.

"This was once in a lifetime water than came down in a very short time. I am not going to go around to blame anyone right now."

In May, the Ministry of Communications and Works and the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) launched a $499,640.00 study to focus on finding the causes and solution to the flooding situation in the Road Town area.

The study, which is being financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is expected to be completed within 10 months.

"The city of Road Town was damaged, mostly because of the low-lying area...ghuts and couldn’t handle it (water) at the extent that it came, sudden. So the water would not have got out quickly," Minister Vanterpool reemphasized.

"There were some bridges that were blocked with the debris that came down that caused the water to overflow over the ghut bank and flood …And the tide at the time was high…it backs up."

Experts Hired For Assessment

Meanwhile, the Works Minister also announced that experts will be arriving in the Territory to carry out an assessment of the damage to the infrastructure; hence, he could not provide a ballpark figure on how much it will cost the government.

"We have invited some assistance from teams. The DDM (Department of Disaster Management) is bringing in some assessors out of Puerto Rico, who helped us in the 2010 (Tropical Storm Otto) assessment," he said.

Further, the Ministry, through the Premier’s Office, will be inviting some engineer experts from CDB to carry out further assessments for the next two weeks.

"Then we can get a figure we can talk about; some realistic numbers," Minister Vanterpool said.
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Reader Opinions

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Mike Masters
I'd like to know how they know exactly how much a study will cost? I will do it for half that!
Like · · 49w
1 Like
Blind sided
No contracts for drain clearing or bush cutting for years with some of the highest budgets in the history of these islands yet don't want to take blame. With all the small rains washing away and eroding the ghuts it was only a matter of time they would get blocked and with this big rain nowhere for the water to go but over the banks. Y'all always talking about infrastructure but I guess y'all didn't envision this would happen and secondly be glad noone perished
Like · · 49w
Mark, you good in yuh head? What held up? I am wondering if its only the public sees things or if its the ministers looking through a different pair of eyes. Wow! Look at that mess and all that money Kedrick spent up brandywine... even though many many persons told him its not feasible to put a beach there. They just not listening to the WE THE PEOPLE. Not listening at all. So a set of money FLUSHING down the toilet, day in and day out. Help us Lord in this BVI. We are crying out.
Like · · 49w
Question for the experts out there.... why do they have to put asphalt on top of the cement road? Why not just leave it a cement road?
Like · · 49w
Spanish Fly
Makes it look nice like it can be worth 11M wink! wink!
Like · 49w
1 Like
so what was wrong with the cement roads which seem to hold up?
Like · · 49w
The Power of Water
This just goes to show us the power of water. No matter how you cover up something water will show you what it should look like. Again my prayers goes out to our tiny nation in these difficult time. God will continue to bless us and bring us together as one.
Like · · 49w
Congratulations for a job well done Mr Minister. There is a pond in Towers West End that overflowed tremendously. It appears to be the only catchment from the surrounding hills since some land owners in the area have filled up their ponds and drainage have not been cleared for years. One of my neighbors, an elderly woman, has been blocked and water continues to be overflowing into her yard and roadway. She has been blocked Mosquitos are merciless. Please have someone empty the pond. Thank You
Like · · 49w
1 Like
Yea right.
Like · · 49w
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