Residents and businesses building new infrastructure in and around Road Town are now subject to a policy that has been introduced to reduce the risk of flooding at the site where new development will take place.
This policy was created based on the results of a Hydrology and Flood Risk study that just completed in the territory.
According to the policy, landowners planning to build on their property must submit details of their plot/parcel of land to the Town and Country Planning Department for a flood risk assessment.
“It (the assessment) gives you specific recommendations that you would need to incorporate from the design stage or, actually, from the sub-division stage all the way through to construction. So we are already using the model in the data [from the hydrology study] to inform the planning process,” explained Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Sharleen DaBreo.
These recommendations are to ensure that any new development in the Road Town area is not only safe and resilient at the development site, but also at surrounding areas that may become at a greater risk of flooding because of the new development.
Improving Road Town’s already-existing drainage system
Results from the overall hydrology study will also be used to improve the already-existing drainage network in the Road Town area.
Project Manager of the hydrology study Dr Nick Jarritt has said most of the ghuts in the Road Town area are already long enough and big enough to handle large volumes of water during a flood. He, however, noted that there are specific points where the ghut’s capacity to properly channel water out to sea is reduced.
“That’s where you get [problems] and flooding is generated. So, the actions that we’ve been focused on is to look at those pinch points and say ‘what can we do to increase the capacity at those locations?'”
Residents have an important role to play too
Authorities will, therefore, be moving to mitigate the current risk of flooding in those areas by increasing the capacity of these ghuts so flood waters can properly find its way out to sea.
“It’s not just about the engineering measures,” Jarritt underscored. “It’s [also] about the conditions of the ghuts, it’s about the blockages in the ghuts and keeping those clear and free from litter, debris, and stones and sediment.”
To that end, the DDM has partnered with the Department of Public Works for a maintenance and clearance plan. Efforts have already begun in that regard.
“The other angle on that is that it’s not just about Public Works, it’s not just about government, it’s about the community as well. We’ve all got a job to do to keep our ghuts clear from litter and waste,” said Jarritt, who noted that old furniture and appliances are some of the things that have been found lodged in Road Town ghuts in the recent past.
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