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Hydrology and Flood Risk study useful in rebuilding

Jeremy Hodge

Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Communication and Works, Jeremy Hodge says a Hydrology and Flood Risk study currently being undertaken in the territory is a useful tool to guide the British Virgin Islands in its rebuilding phase.

The study started in May last year and is scheduled to be completed by July.

The study focused on the options for flood reduction in Road Town and other areas while mapping the levels of risks, identifying cost-effective drainage improvements, and developing drainage policies and plans.

“This study serves as a guide for the BVI government as we rebuild our infrastructure, in particular; roads, to ensure that experts will be aware of the high-risk areas and also give some guidance on designs on drains and other related systems to mitigate the chances of floods,” Hodge said.

He was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday about the first Flood Protection Awareness Week scheduled to run from May 7 to 11 with a host of activities under the theme ‘Rebuilding a Flood Resilient Community Together’.

“Since the floods in September 2017, flood risks in the BVI has become very real and highlights to us all as government and community the importance of taking action together to reduce the risk of damage caused by flooding.”

Recommendations

Hodge said some of the recommendations from the study include a comprehensive programme to clear all ghuts and drains, the use of sandbags, and developing a ‘contingency plan’ for the territory.

“We are actually using some of the areas highlighted in our study to give some of those high-risk areas immediate attention.”

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8 Comments

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  1. virgin islander says:

    Jeremy please For the love of this Country Take up with Omar Left off run for election at Large the Country Need you…. save us as Virgin Islanders.

  2. @Virgin Islander says:

    While I do agree with you I also disagree. If all the brilliant minds working in these departments leave and run for politics then how would the work get done. A politician is only as good as the staff/team that he surrounds himself with. Remember they are being advised on whats best and lately I think most of them need to get rid of their advisors starting with — ——- in the Ministry of Health

  3. E. Leonard says:

    As the 07 August 2017 historic flood demonstrated, flooding is a major hazard and issue in the territory growth and development. Poor drainage is a major contributor to premature road failure. The territory for the most part is small and hilly and runoff does not take long (hours, days) to move along the drainage basin/watershed out to sea; with increasing development, less rainfall infiltrates into the ground and more runoff occurs. Runoff is the primary drainage component that must be effectively manage to prevent and/or minimize flood damages.

    Further, as land use changes with more hard surfaces created, ie, residential construction……etc the volume and velocity of runoff increases, resulting in increasing flooding and flood damages.

    Consequently, as the territory rebuilds from the historic flood and the 2 decimating Cat 5 hurricanes, it needs a comprehensive drainage master plan as the blueprint to guide the rebuilding effort. A drainage master plan addresses a myriad of issues, ie, slopes, pipes sizes, road crowns, gradients, channel sizes, conveyance, drainage appurtenances, retainage walls, maintenance strips, road spreads, ponding……etc.

    Moreover, uncontrolled or poorly managed drainage runoff, pose a serious risk to life and property; investment in and effective implementing of drainage a master plan is needed to protect life and property, reduce operating cost……….etc.

  4. Reality says:

    Start with the simple stuff please Government – like clearing out all the ghuts – these were full of debris and waste before Irma and are even worse now……You don’t need a fancy detailed study to tell you that!

    • Devon says:

      I agree…clean out all the guts and drains first this would help !
      Also they need to figure out that water follows the path of least resistance.. nearly every drain I see here whether it’s in people’s bathrooms or by the roads are too high so water is left puddling around them..

  5. Phoenix says:

    Any discussion of flooding should include drought preparedness as well. The Islands were a tinder-box in the severe drought we had a few years ago. Some of the California wildfires last year were bigger than Tortola.

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