Vromi prepared for flooding

POSTED: 11/24/14 7:59 PM

St. Maarten – In response to the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten’s (MDS) weather forecast, in which it was predicted that St. Maarten could expect cloudy skies with periods of showers and a risk of thunder over the weekend, Ministry Vromi made the necessary preparations on Friday to mitigate the effects of potential floods.

This quick response was an effort to avoid the deluge of a few weeks ago after torrential rains flooded low-lying areas around the Great Salt Pond and Fresh Pond. As a precaution, heavy equipment was brought to the Great Bay beach area, next to the Fresh Pond canal to open the beach channel in the event of excess rainfall and flooding.

Preparations were also made to allow excess water in the Fresh Pond to flow into the Salt Pond at the A.T. Illidge road floodgates, which are currently under construction, should the need arise. Heavy equipment operators were mobilized and on standby in the event that their services were needed.  Earlier in the week, Ministry Vromi met with Windward Roads B.V., the construction company contracted to expand the floodgates, to come up with a plan to address the threat of flooding in the area. Construction on the floodgates began this past Friday at 7:30 p.m. Two of the three storm water pumps were on standby and ready for activation, should they be needed to pump water out of the Great Salt Pond. Residents and motorists were advised to exercise caution, as this area is prone to flooding in times of heavy rainfall.

According to the MDS, an upper level feature weather system combined with available moisture at the lower levels of the atmosphere is increasing instability across the Caribbean region. Residents of St. Maarten were expected to experience the effects of the weather system starting at around 6:00 p.m. Friday, which would continue over a twenty-four-house period.

Vromi minister Maurice Lake was pleased with his ministry’s proactive preparations taken on Friday afternoon due to the threat of inclement weather that was east of the Caribbean island chain. In the wake of the recent torrential rainfall two weeks ago and Hurricane Gonzalo, Minister Lake said that proactive preparations are necessary in order to manage the water flow in the event of heavy rainfall.



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