Mill Creek Businesses Respond To Government

November 5, 2015

“The Government owns the canal and it is the Minister’s responsibility to upkeep it,” said Ed Faries, on behalf of Mill Creek Road businesses and residents.

Yesterday [Nov 4] a group consisting of the 20 businesses and one residence located on Mill Creek Road released a statement about 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.”

Following that, a Public Works Ministry spokesperson said, “An engineer will be in touch with the local businesses about the flooding but the private sector must take ownership of this issue as Mills Creek Road is a private road.”

Mill Creek Road businesses - Government1

In response, Mr Faries said, “The sluice gate is one of 10 items that was listed in the 2004 Mill Creek Flood Mitigation Study. While we recognise that it has helped, it is just not enough.

“One of the other recommendations in the report is the installation of holding tanks to allow heavy rain to be held and released into the canal over a period of low tides. These still haven’t been built.

“The flooding at high tide has become significantly worse in the last few years and now it’s dangerous. Furthermore, the wall surrounding the sluice gate has cracks and leaks. Government tried to patch these but leaking is now much worse.

“The ongoing flooding problem has been made worse by systematic failure by the Government to action the 10-point plan from the 2004 Mill Creek Flood Mitigation Study or enforce the Bermuda Plan 2008.

“The Bermuda Plan 2008 says that the control and disposal of storm water runoff will take place within the boundaries of a site and that no drainage will take place into the Pembroke Canal.

“How can Government not fulfill its own responsibilities and try to lay the resolution of this problem at private property owners’ feet? It is not the properties that are flooding, but rather access to them. The canal and storm water mitigation is Government’s responsibility.

“The Government says that it doesn’t have the money to make infrastructure improvements so why did it rebuild the road along Bernard’s Park/Dutton Avenue in response to flooding? Both sporting facilities on that road are accessible from either end and it does not need to be open for transit in order for individuals to reach their destination.

“Further, it was not one of the 10 recommendations that came out of its own 2004 report. It appears that the Government has discretionary funding for the engineering jobs that it chooses to undertake but it is spending these funds poorly.

“Why didn’t it close that road allowing access only to the netball court in order to invest in one of the outstanding points on the plan? Investing in the action points from the plan will mitigate flooding for the whole watershed from Parsons Road to Mill Creek.

“Given the long term Government inaction, we met with our own engineers in late 2014 through early 2015 as we wanted to raise the road ourselves, at our own cost. Our engineers advised us that we could not raise the road several feet without the Government reinforcing and raising the canal walls prior to any road-raising initiatives.

“We explained this clearly to the Minister and his chief engineer during our meeting in July. The Government owns the canal and it is the Minister’s responsibility to upkeep it. We are willing to contribute to a solution, but Government needs to take the lead and not kick the can down the road any longer.

“The Ministry’s statement says that it will create a long-term infrastructure plan to alleviate the water flow, but we want timelines. There already is a plan; we don’t need a new one. The Minister promised to come back to us within two weeks of our meeting in July. How much longer are we going to be ignored with empty promises?

“We are not asking the Government to fix our road. We are asking it to take care of its own canal,” added Mr Faries.

Read More About

Category: All, Business, News

Comments (29)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Soggy Socks says:

    Well said! Government must lead the way.

    • Well if we’re depending on this Government to lead the way, we’re F!@#ed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • jt says:

        You are. For sure.

      • Hmmm says:

        The report was 2004, hmmmm, who had 8+ years and more importantly THE MONEY!!

        • Zevon says:

          Yep. But it was more important to build Grand Atlantic. And returf Port Royal, of course.

      • Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

        ooooo you got burned. now go sit in the corner and sip some tea and think about what you have done.

  2. Solution says:

    How about the 20 businesses purchase a pump (very generously sizes sized), pipe the discharge towards fairylands, and MAKE IT RAIN!. I’m sure someone who lives in that neighborhood can influence government to fix the canal. If they don’t, at least you will fix the flooding.

    • Pumped says:

      Heard that under the former administration the wrong sized pumps were bought and now they are hiding out at Port royal somewhere…

    • Hah says:

      Maybe… Pumps are relatively cheap and easily exchangeable. And by cheap I mean a couple grand but in the construction world… That’s pretty basic

  3. Not exactly says:

    I say pour cement or put a sluice gate at the pints bay end of the canal and we’ll see whose problem it is!

  4. Watcher says:

    Rylands v Fletcher anyone?

    • hmmm says:

      I don’t know how that could be applied to the status quo, but if someone built something that then failed and caused damage in the future them possibly.

    • Zevon says:

      Doesn’t apply. The first requirement for Rylands to apply is that the defendant brought something onto the land for his own purposes, and stored it there. That doesn’t fit the facts in this case.
      The defence in the Transco case applies as well.
      So no, Rylands v Fletcher does not apply.

  5. hmmm says:

    What did the PLP say …. 2004 – 2012 that is 8+ years.

    • Serious Though says:

      @Hmmm time to move on… even Iraq is trying,, is not that bad in Bermuda

  6. HOTDOG says:

    They have no MONEY.

  7. Terry says:

    Mr.Faries needs a rum.
    That Canal has been there for hundreds of years.
    Whomever owned the property/’s sold it off cheap.

    Same sheet different day.

    I walked those Canals over 50 years ago.
    No flooding.

    Houses were built away from them or near.

    Cheap land.

    Imagine what the CEO of Bank of Bermuda must think when he sees the tide rising.

    Rum…..all around.

  8. Collective Effort says:

    BAC and Air Care (two businesses along Mill Creek Road) have expertise in big pumps for air conditioning and fire systems. Why can’t they apply that to creating a pumping station at the end of Mill Creek Road and work out the cost with other businesses and Govt? Fix the cracks or size the pump accordingly. When its raining and the tide is high, simply pump the water building up behind the sluice gate into Mill Creek. If a lot of rain is expected, start pumping the existing water before more is added to it. Test the theory: have the Fire Dept. go with a number of mobile pumps (and any available from the private sector) the next time flooding looks likely.

    • Not exactly says:

      And who pays for it? The watershed and flooding goes back to Parsons Road. Sounds like a Government job. Maybe BAC would do it at cost if Government asked…

  9. Ed Case says:

    Meanwhile residents of Gibbshill are complaining that they have to climb up a hill to get to their homes. “It’s disgusting” one resident said adding that the extra effort to travel uphill was causing undue wear on her car. “Government should fix this immediately. You don’t see people down at Riddles Bay having to go up hills so why should we?”

  10. Widget says:

    Would it not be easier to simply fill in and elevate the roadway. Let’s face it, the buildings as they are seem to be four feet above grade.

    • Soggy Socks says:

      From the above article: “Our engineers advised us that we could not raise the road several feet without the Government reinforcing and raising the canal walls prior to any road-raising initiatives.”

  11. Terry says:

    Good one Ed.
    A horse is a horse of course of course.

  12. Noel Taylor says:

    It looks like minds are aligned but the timing and coordination of efforts/budget are the issue?!??

  13. Some Beach says:

    Barnam and bailey are missing a few clowns…have you seen them anywhere…?