Dockyard suffers significant damage
Up to 15 families in Dockyard may need to be relocated so post-Gonzalo repair work can be carried out on their homes.
Engineers will assess the damage today and tomorrow, the West End Development Corporation (Wedco) said yesterday.
Wedco chairman Ray Charlton and general manager Andrew Dias told The Royal Gazette yesterday that homes on Prince Alfred Terrace and a few on Boaz Island would need work.
Dockyard as a whole suffered “significant damage” as the Category 3 hurricane battered Bermuda, they said, and the total repair bill could be millions of dollars.
“The biggest residential damage was Prince Alfred Terrace — probably at least four or five of them need relocation,” Mr Dias said. “We’re going to have the building assessed between tomorrow and Tuesday.”
“We’re working with Government agencies, some of those families will be relocated and we’re trying to find out how we can assist,” Mr Charlton added. It’s most of Prince Alfred Terrace then one or two from Boaz Island Village — they had significant rain and flooding.
“After engineering reports come back, if we need to vacate anyone it’s probably 11 families in Prince Alfred Terrace and four families in Boaz Island, no more than 15.”
Thankfully, no one appeared to have been injured.
“To our knowledge no one was hurt during this storm,” Mr Dias said. “During Fay one individual was cut by a broken window. She was ok. It was minor in the sense it wasn’t life-threatening.”
Mr Dias said Wedco’s Dockyard properties were badly damaged by the storm, including the Clocktower Mall.
The mall’s food venues were open again yesterday but the stores were closed and will remain so until Wednesday.
“The sun is out today, I can give that good news,” Mr Dias said. “But we did suffer quite extensive damage, a number of roofs were compromised.
“Most of the infrastructure is back up and running, probably 90 per cent. We are quickly getting back up to speed so we can be open for business 100 per cent.
“We face some major decisions with certain buildings regarding maintenance and repair. It’s primarily roof damage but once a roof comes off there is flooding and other issues that go with it.
“The Clocktower Mall has one small hole in the roof that will be addressed tomorrow, and minor leaking of windows and through the walls — the walls are three feet thick but driving rain means you get moisture through the walls. We fared reasonably well but we have some work to do.”
Mr Charlton said Wedco had been well prepared to weather the storm and he praised staff for their efforts.
“We put sandbags up around the mall and went to residential areas to board up windows,” he said.
“Wedco staff did a great job, I want to commend them for that.
“We have 27 acres and 100-something buildings but we only have 31 staff, including office staff — everyone was shoulder to the wheel getting things done. Did we get every little thing done? No, we didn’t have time, but this year we were more prepared than in past years.”
Mr Dias urged the public to resist the urge to go and look at the damage so the repair crews could work unhampered.
“I know it’s interesting to come up and have a look but I appeal to the public if they could avoid sightseeing, it does impede us from get on with what we have to do,” he said.
“The mall is partially open — the restaurant and Haagen Dazs are open so people who are working can get coffee and a sandwich but the stores are closed, we will reopen the mall on Wednesday morning.
“West End Yachts had vessels in the street and a few vessels blew over, which is another reason we don’t want too much traffic until we can get a crane tomorrow [Monday].”
“Restaurants are open up here if anyone is still without power and needs to get a hot meal,” Mr Charlton added. “But I ask people to park cars at the Clocktower Mall and South Basin and walk, we’re going to start bringing boats back in and want to keep traffic clear.”
Gonzalo also caused some damage at Heritage Wharf and King’s Wharf, with part of the road leading to the docks collapsed on one side. Engineers will assess the damage today and the section of road has been closed.
A cruise ship, Celebrity Infinity, is due to dock on Wednesday.
“It could have been a lot worse, most definitely,” Mr Dias said. “We’re going to keep going and get us back up and running. We had a lot of damage, not quite as bad as Fabian. We took it seriously and started to prepare on Sunday.
“Fay helped, it cleared some of the trees which helped us and it heightened the community’s awareness, people took it a little more seriously.”
The National Museum received “significant” roof damage, Mr Dias said, but the dolphins at Dolphin Quest were fine.
“The staff stayed so the animals were not left alone,” Mr Dias said. “Staff stayed to make sure they were safe.
“There was significant roof damage at the museum but most if not all of the artefacts are fine.”