NWA to probe causes of Port Maria flooding

Officials of the National Works Agency, NWA, are to investigate claims that a groyne constructed in a section of Port Maria, St. Mary, to assist with flood prevention, could have resulted in the town being left under several feet of  water on the weekend.

Preliminary assessments revealed that more than 1,000 persons in the town were affected with significant damage to infrastructure.

Emergency and loccal government officials are conducting clean-up activities and assessing rebuilding costs after flood waters which reached dangerously high levels, deluged hundreds of homes, shops and other buildings.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries from the flooding which came nearly three weeks after the parish was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of  Transport and Works, Dr. Morais Guy, says the problem with the groyne was recently highlighted by concerned residents.

Dr. Guy says the NWA investigation will determine whether corrective measures will have to be taken:

“Some of the residents says that the construction of a groyne across the mouth of the river may need to have a relook. Because they are claiming that it’s since the construction of this particular groyne that which in a way was built to protect the town - this is what is contributing to the water to not have proper flow.”

Dr. Guy says an international consulting firm has been commissioned to do a flood drainage plan for Port Maria.

He added that the draft has been completed and is with the Works Agency.

Dr. Guy says the NWA team will have to accelerate the review of the draft in light of the weekend's flooding.

Senior NWA personnel with responsibility for the construction of groynes, gullies and drains were dispatched to Port Maria Sunday to conduct an assessment.

Dr. Guy says a more urgent look will have to be taken regarding the state of drains in the parish.

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