Group Demand Action On Infrastructure/Flooding

November 4, 2015

The 20 businesses and one residence located on Mill Creek Road have formed a group and are hitting out at Government over what they said was the “blatant lack of action on the Pembroke Canal infrastructure, which continues to go into disrepair and cause serious, sometimes life threatening, flooding on Mill Creek Road.”

The group said, “Over the years, the canal has not been able to properly drain the watershed, which is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains from it goes into the same place.When the canal was built, the marsh area reduced the intensity of the water flow and stored excess water when it rained.

“However, since that time there has been a huge amount of development in Hamilton in combination with infilling. This has increased the rate and volume of storm water runoff, which is brackish, and significantly decreased the naturally occurring storage within the watershed. As a result, this causes heavy flooding throughout Hamilton.

“The public will be particularly familiar with the flooding on Bakery Lane, Dundonald Street, Bernard’s Park, Woodlands Road and BAA field area.

Truck being removed by another truck after getting stuck on Bakery Lane earlier this year:

“In 2002, the Bermuda Government commissioned Canadian firm Associated Engineering to prepare the Mill Creek Flood Mitigation study, which resulted in a 10-point action plan [see PDF below].

“Since that time, it is understood that only one of the recommendations has been undertaken: Government has built a floodbox and upgraded some of the dyke system at the mouth of Mill Creek.

“However, this dyke system is deficient as a result of varying crest heights of the water, leaks and a lack of tie-in to the high ground. There is still a great deal of work to be undertaken to upgrade the drainage system and pump station.

“The Mill Creek Road businesses have been meeting with Government since 2002. Most recently, they met with the Minister of Works & Engineering in July. He had promised a response within two weeks of the meeting with options and pricing.

“Another letter was sent to the Minister in mid- September restating the group’s desire for communication on the matter and to this day no response has been received.

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“As a result of the severe flooding that occurs every time it rains, the businesses and residence have been impacted as follows:

  • Approximately 500 employees of the Mill Creek businesses cannot arrive or leave work due to flooding that can sometimes be three feet deep
  • Cars of the employees and resident require significantly more maintenance due to the engine damage from the flooding
  • Each business is losing between $13,000 and $40,000 per day on flooding days
  • The disabled resident is confined to his home and cannot leave the area”

Ed Faries, on behalf of the Mill Creek Road businesses and residence, says: “We have had enough. According to the Act , it is the Minister’s responsibility to upkeep the canal. The canal is suffering from a systemic lack of infrastructure upgrades.

“Many developments have been allowed over the past 10 years such as the expansion of TCD and partial filling in of the canal on Woodlands Road. All of these add to the volume of water entering the canal that cannot escape at high tide.

“Our livelihoods and the family that lives here are suffering and we need the Government to take urgent action. One business has lost two engines on its truck and just last week, another truck lost its wheel bearings.

Rain-Flooding-Bermuda-September-26-2013-10mmm

“We are concerned about the safety of our customers and employees when they try to use the road on flooding days. There are days they cannot get to work and there are days when they have to wait hours for the water to recede to go home,” Mr Faries continued.

“Someone is going to get hurt and it’s a liability for our businesses. Our staff are scared to come to work or to leave work. They can’t drive through deep water.

“Mill Creek Road needs an immediate solution. The road could be partially raised where needed about two to three feet as a first step. Government could dig a large water storage area to hold the water back until low tide or install a large pump system, as recommended in the 10-point plan.

“The drainage system needs to be rebuilt as part of a long-term solution to suit the development that has been allowed over the past 10 or 15 years.

“It is not just a Mill Creek Road issue. It is a serious engineering challenge that is now beyond urgent. The solutions have already been determined; they just need to be actioned.”

The 10-point action plan , as provided by the group, follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (40)

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  1. Um Um Like says:

    The flooding in this area is God’s will. Just let it flood or you will go to hell.

    Ameyun!

    • Name ( required ) says:

      Bruh

    • ron,b says:

      its not gods fault,, all the ponds flow into and out of mills creek and the flow has been blocked, and ponds filled in by construction, the big government three story parking lot in back of masters and the new government w+e building in back of that,and were the car wash is has all been filled in and the flow of the water blocked ,,so that whole area the pond has been blocked ,so that would be totally the governments fault, or should be ….all that water is suppose to run freely under the places flooded in the pics above ,,,so its the devils fault

      • ron,b says:

        they knew disaster will strike one day but the power of the almighty dollar has the last say,, i totally just made that up,sounds cris and it rhymes

  2. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Reclaiming too much paradise does contribute to the woes in the area. The solutions should have been implemented by now. Sympathies to those affected, there is so little choice available when it comes to finding suitable places to do business.

  3. Micro says:

    Builds house on marsh at sea level and complains about flooding…

    • Not exactly says:

      The problem is that the businesses cannot do anything without Government first addressing the structural issues. There are no other accesses to the area and Government over the last 15 years has done ZERO in the way of infrastructure investment as per their own study!

    • Sara says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. Mother nature always shows us where we should not have built.

  4. That area has been flooding for as long as I can recall (I’m in my 60s)and it is NOT something new :-( So, what do “u’lot” who’ve formed this group suggest be done?

  5. The Guy says:

    I agree with Mr. Ed Faries, 100% as I am a victim of this flooding as I have worked at Mills Creek for over 10 years and I have suffered numerous lateness and have to wait it out to go home evenings. I have a wonderful car and I don’t even attempt to drive thru this stuff as our trucks has suffered numerous lock up on the hand brakes, wheel bearing kits, and rust, to name a few, damages! Please Mr. Cannonier, make a point to rectify this while you are in office, now! Thank You!

    • Not exactly says:

      Agreed. Blame for this is cannot be put at Cannonier’s feet, but a clear articulation of Government’s plan to uphold their responsibilities can come from him.

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    While there has to be sympathy for the businesses & users of the area, what do you expect when you cover a whole marsh area with buildings, concrete & asphalt?

    When man messes with nature all too often man makes a mess of nature.

    This area is not much different than the air terminal. Half a century of patching up or doing nothing & you are eventually facing a huge bill to make it right.

    Think what could be done if the Sage Report was followed & 3000 ineffective civil servants were given the boot. Lets start with W&E & quickly move to santiation & transport to save big bucks through privatisation.

    • Not exactly says:

      The problem is that development has extended all the way to TCD and yet the only folks are prone to become trapped are right on Mill Creek Lane. Planning has continuously approved construction that worsens the problem (BAA, TCD, etc). If those affected block off the canal, they could ease up their own flooding but everyone else would float! Government needs to uphold its responsibilities as per the Act and maintain the canal. Clearly W&E/Park’s suffers from terrible management in the Civil Service. What do the trash collector’s do when collection is cancelled every week? What does Parks do at all. The canal looks like a tropical rain forest as do all our public roadsides. What the hell are we all paying taxes for?

    • Loquatz says:

      Most of the problem actually occurs upstream in Hamilton.

  7. Here is an idea. Before building a warehouse etc. raise the road level leading to them places in advance…Look at Ray Clad you don’t hear anyone complaining about their business being flooded :-(

    • Not exactly says:

      Their situation is terrible too, but they can at least access their properties without a punt.

    • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

      I’ve worked in one of the known flooding areas and I’m afraid my level of sympathy for these businesses is fairly low.

      If you build or open your business in an area that has been known to flood for generations, guess what? You’re going to have to deal with flooding. If you don’t prepare for that, who’s at fault?

      When it comes to the employees’ woes, I do have a little sympathy, but if you drive through the water, you have to know what you’re doing to your car, though given how many vehicles get stuck in the water because people don’t understand that they are not driving boats suggests thay I could be wrong on this.

      In the end, wanting a Government which we all know is deeply in debt to solve a problem you went in to knowing about, is just a little daft.

    • Loquatz says:

      Helped them – but simply made the problems worse for their neighbours. Mills Creek is the neighbour in the case of Hamilton – all the development there has overburdened the canal. As more land is paved, it prevents surface absorption and the water ends up flowing down that little canal … it just can’t handle it.

  8. jt says:

    Did I miss the part where they outlined how it would be paid for?

  9. serengeti says:

    So the 2002 Action Plan estimated the cost of this at $4.3m. So at today’s prices, 13-14 years later, we know the cost is likely to be $10m+.

    It’s odd, but the businesses who chose to locate in that area, knowing its flood risk, haven’t volunteered to pay anything for the work. Why not?

    Are taxpayers supposed to forego other government services to pay for this?

  10. Are you kidding me? says:

    For donkeys years we’ve had this situation and all of a sunden blame the OBA ,,,bunch of losers ,,,,

    • Soggy Socks says:

      Who’s blaming the OBA? The Government is being blamed. This problem is perennial. The lack of communication since July however is clearly the fault of the Minister and Civil Servants employed between July and November 2015.

  11. Not exactly says:

    The report said that with $4.31M in 2004 this could have been dealt with. Doubt anything was done at all maintenance wise in decade after report.

  12. JES says:

    It’s interesting how they blame the expansion of TCD when all that has been created is a wall around the western side of the property. This was done so we are told to protect the nature reserve from the run off of contaminated water bourne by the carbons and emissions that settle in the parking lot. Nothing has changed from years gone by only now that same wall holds the water that use to easily run off of the property creating a pool of sitting water. The area where the new parking lot is has not been expanded and no new ground reclaimed… Just resurfaced as that area used to be the old driver testing range and the main parking lot area. If anything a flooding problem that never existed in modern time has been created on that property which is of just as much concern to the employees and customers who have to deal with the canal not being regularly cleaned of the floating lily plants that are choking and slow the flow of water through the marsh. What baffles me about this whole situation of run off water is that water that runs off of the road where North Street and Dutton Avenue connect runs directly into the canal under the little bridge connecting the two roads which I am sure is full of just as much carbons and emissions as the parking lot so someone has created a false sense of trying to save the ‘Green World’ which is laughable. #TideOfTheFloodingToo

  13. JES says:

    It’s interesting how they blame the expansion of TCD when all that has been created is a wall around the western side of the property. This was done so we are told to protect the nature reserve from the run off of contaminated water bourne by the carbons and emissions that settle in the parking lot. Nothing has changed from years gone by only now that same wall holds the water that use to easily run off of the property creating a pool of sitting water. The area where the new parking lot is has not been expanded and no new ground reclaimed… Just resurfaced as that area used to be the old driver testing range and the main parking lot area. If anything a flooding problem that never existed in modern time has been created on that property which is of just as much concern to the employees and customers who have to deal with the canal not being regularly cleaned of the floating lily plants that are choking and slow the flow of water through the marsh. What baffles me about this whole situation of run off water is that water that runs off of the road where North Street and Dutton Avenue connect runs directly into the canal under the little bridge connecting the two roads which I am sure is full of just as much carbons and emissions as the parking lot so someone has created a false sense of trying to save the ‘Green World’ which is laughable. #TiredOfTheFloodingToo

  14. Loquatz says:

    Bad urban planning across the board – virtually all the surface runoff from “urban Bermuda” piles into this hinky little canal that has never been upgraded … even as more of the city is paved and pushing water into it. Well, yeah, it’s going to flood.

  15. KarmaGotEm says:

    Whilst I sympathize with the businesses over there. I don’t think anyone really believes that each business is losing that much money per day! If they are, they have never had a recession.

  16. Sunshine says:

    Something really needs to be done as I am really tired of having to swim to work. Please adhere to the request of the people concerned.

  17. Truth is killin' me... says:

    “Blame it on the raaaaain!”

  18. Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

    I’m surprised no one has blamed de plp….so I will!

  19. Just my opinion says:

    In June 2008, Government issued a document which states:

    “The control and disposal of storm water runoff will take place within the boundaries of the application site and that No drainage will take place into the Pembroke Canal.”

    Well that special consideration simply has never been applied. No wonder people are speaking up. The flooding is clearly worse than ever…and all over Pembroke not just Mill Creek Rd.

  20. cup of tea anyone? says:

    This is the PLP’s fault.

  21. Hi and Lois says:

    So is the ground in question above or below sea level?

  22. UmJustSaying says:

    Remember when we where able to see water flowing pass the south side of Central School,the north side of the now park on Parsons Rd, south side of NVCC field,northside of Saltus field, through BAA between the field and the club house.. LANDFILL is a wonderful tool

  23. jon says:

    “severe flooding that occurs every time it rains” – really? every time? severe flooding?