While noting that a major ghut-cleaning exercise was undertaken before the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday, Acting Director of the Public Works Department, Jeremy Hodge said ghut-cleaning will now be a year-long effort.
In an interview with BVI News, Hodge said the most recent clearing exercise did not only involve the mainland Tortola, but also the sister islands of Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda.
“We spent one week on Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke where the main branch Tortola subsidised their crews with more manpower and equipment. For those weeks the sister islands teams worked together to get the job done ahead of the weathers.”
“On Tortola we have been and continued cleaning up until today (Wednesday, July 29). Ghut and drain cleaning will be a year-round exercise and no longer seasonal. Moving forward, you can expect to see sister island teams working together to keep our roadways maintained,” he added.
Usually effective against flooding
In the meantime, areas on the mainland whose ghuts were cleared before the arrival of the storm included East End, Purcell Estate, Road Town, Sea Cows Bay and Pockwood Pond.
“Cleaning will be continuous. Northside, we intend to address following the [emancipation] holidays,” he stated.
BVI News also quizzed the Acting Director of Public Works how effective ghut-cleaning actually is against major flooding in the territory.
He replied: “Under normal circumstances, clearing drains and ghuts is a very effective exercise to mitigate flooding in vulnerable areas. However, in unprecedented circumstances – such as the 2017 August floods – we can only do our best then hope and prayer for the best outcome possible.”
Above-average hurricane season predicted
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been predicted by the researches at the Colorado State University to be an above-average season, with 16 named storms expected to affect the region.
These researchers are predicting that eight will go on to become major hurricanes with categories of three, four and five strengths and winds of 111 miles per hour in some cases.
Eight named tropical storms and one hurricane have developed since the start of the season.
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