WCD braces for flooding during high tides

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…as sections of sea defence remains unrepaired

One year ago, the seawall structure along the West Coast of Demerara was hit by massive waves during a period of high tide which caused mass flooding. Presently, residents are concerned since some sections of the structure remains unrepaired, posing an imminent danger should the water rise further.

<<<Inew>>> visited the area on Sunday where many individuals complained of the lengthy period which these works have taken. Karamchand Singh explained that these works should have been completed immediately after the surge last April.

“Last year, the flood was a serious thing and the seawall was in a better shape then. They just put boulder there to hold off the water and we know what kinda waves does come over when the tide raise. We don’t know how long more we got to wait and wait,” he explained.

Singh added, “They fix some of the other parts but in Uitvlugt, the seawall is in our backyard. That water coming straight into we houses. I see some people already block off the doors cause they know what could happen.”

Boulders placed at the site to contain the waves

During the past month, the area has experienced significant rainfall in addition to spring tides. Boulders that were placed last year to keep out the water continue to serve as the main barrier. During that encounter, some of the waves caused destruction to properties after moving over the sea defence at some 20 feet.

An assessment of the flooding last year pegged the damages at some $100 million. Earlier this year, it was reported that works had commenced at several locations. However, it was indicated that the equipment has been stationed at these locations and is only operational for days at a time.

“We see people coming to work for a couple days and then they gone for a week. This is why the repair taking over a year. Over one year and they still can’t finish,” Bibi Haniff lamented.

For Leonora, a contract was awarded to the sum of $175 million to address a gap of 325 metres while at Uitvlugt, a sum of $130 million was allocated to address 250 metres of sea defence. For Stewartville, $107 million was awarded for 200 metres of work.

Violent waves rush over the Uitvlugt seawall

For De Willem, the works were pegged at $107 million and at Anna Catherina, two projects were tendered at $104 and $106 million, which will be executed simultaneously. Sluices were also on the rehabilitation list and were treated as a separate project.

However, earlier this month, the Cinderella Park Koker at Zeelugt suffered a breach after one of its components failed, allowing water to enter at a rapid rate. Regional officials were later dispatched to normalise the situation. It is unclear whether this issue was permanently fixed.