Residents concerned about Back Street flooding

POSTED: 11/20/12 1:51 PM

St. Maarten – Residents and businesses on lower Back Street have had to endure consistent flooding in the area as a result of sporadic rainfall.

Water has been collecting in the area between Manzinilla Street and Longwall Road ever since the Public Works Department decided to upgrade Manzinilla Street one month ago. The road was barely passable owing to its numerous potholes and residents say that they welcomed the Ministry of Vromi’s decision to make the road, which runs from Back Street to Cannegieter Street, more roadworthy.

However what they thought would be a blessing turned out to be a curse in disguise. When the initial euphoria and satisfaction had abated, the residents were struck with the harsh reality that Manzinilla Street had been resurfaced but was more than a feet higher than Back Street.

This meant that surface run off which would have usually flowed from Front and Back Streets and onto Manzinilla Street until it snaked its away across Cannegieter Street to go into the Great Salt Pond, would no longer be possible. That particular section of Back Street also features no storm drains, sinkholes or manholes to quickly drain the area.

On Monday, residents and several business owners in the area could be heard complaining of the inconvenience and health risks, the collection of water there poses. They said that they have had to walk through the flooded area every time it rains and fear that the authorities are not paying enough attention to their end of Back Street.

When Today contacted the Ministry of Vromi for head of the Department of Infrastructure Management and Maintenance Claudius Buncamper, we were told that he is off-island but is expected to return before the week ends.

In the meantime, a source within the Ministry of Vromi confirmed that an assessment of the situation had already been conducted and a work crew would be visiting the area to level Manzinilla Street during this week. This will ensure that water is once again diverted away from Back Street and rushes all the way to the Great Salt Pond.

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