Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Jeremy Hodge told business owners at a community meeting for the Road Town Hydrology Study that the Government of the Virgin Islands contracted Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd. in March 2017, for the study and Flood Risk Reduction of the Road Town Catchment.
Mr. Hodge said the study is in its final analysis phase and consultants are sharing some of their findings as well as gathering final recommendations from the community.
Consultant from Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd., Dr. Nick Jarritt stated that there are building practices that can be taken to mitigate the impact of flooding in the interim of Road Town redevelopment. These measures he said include:
- Landscaping Solutions – A slope can help protect businesses by allowing water to flow away from structures and towards drains.
- Elevate New Construction – Building above known flooding levels (base flood elevations) reduces the risk of flood damage and facilitates faster clean-up after events.
- Permeable Paving – Using gravel, mulch or bricks allows rainfall to infiltrate naturally back into the ground, rather than driving increasing volumes of water runoff
- Flood Barriers – Structures that restrict the flow of water, including flood boards, shutters and sand bags.
Dr. Jarritt said, “Flooding cannot be prevented due to the topography, human activity and climate of the Territory. However we can minimise the risk.”
He also encouraged persons who live in flood prone areas to write an emergency plan that specifies the process and steps to follow in the event of a flood.
An Emergency Plan should include:
- A list of key contacts that should be notified in the event of a flood.
- A list of locations for key services such as electricity shut-off location and generator location.
- A list of actions, for example, to identify items that need protecting, where they are located, and how they are to be protected.
- A list including locations of any equipment needed to be protected.
The Flood Risk Reduction of the Road Town Catchment and Hydrology Study is a joint venture between the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Department of Disaster Management, the Survey Department, Town and Country Planning Department and the Ministry of Finance, supported by consultants Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd. and funded by the Caribbean Development Bank.