Residents hit by more flooding

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  • Ducks enjoy the flooding at Bernards Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Ducks enjoy the flooding at Bernards Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The sound of driving rain, welcome to most Bermudians, brings foreboding in the Roach household, where flooding remains a reality after years of roadworks.

“Niagara Falls had nothing on it,” John Roach told The Royal Gazette, after last week's record rainfall once again put Marsh Folly Road under water.

“Water was galloping down. We're fortunate enough with our walls that it forces it around the side of the house.”

A fresh retaining wall stands above his home on Perimeter Lane after downpours in 2014 brought torrents of debris into his yard, but the cataract of more than 5in on Thursday left a stubborn lake despite the efforts of crews from the Department of Works and Engineering — although help is coming soon.

A tenant on the north side of the road had a similar story: over four years of residence, his ground floor home has been flooded four times.

“Water came into the house about an inch,” said the resident, adding: “Hurricane Nicole was like nothing I've ever seen. But when the cars drive across it, the water comes in.”

Workmen responded swiftly, unclogging drains, he said, and his floors are tiled, with the electric sockets out of the water's reach — but, like Mr Roach, he said he was “wondering what's going to change”.

Pointing to a drill bit left in a borehole, Mr Roach acknowledged that Works and Engineering remained on the job — saying he had telephoned Craig Cannonier, the Minister of Public Works, to suggest that the department hire well diggers.

This video of people skiing on the water at Bernard's Park was posted on Facebook by Betty Ann Caesar on Sunday

“All this was under water. Normally this takes a while to fill up. It shows how much came down in a short period of time.”

The road, busy with eastbound traffic each morning, spent two years with one lane closed while workmen shored it back up again.

However, according to a spokeswoman, that was only part of the job: a phase of draining work began late in 2016.

“The scope of work was to drill boreholes in order to install a catch basin and drain the area,” she said.

The drilling machine broke down before the job could be done — hence the deluge for Mr Roach and his neighbours. “It should be repaired by early next week now that parts have arrived from the United States,” the spokeswoman added. “Work should be completed by the end of this month.”

Like many such flood-prone hollows, the stretch of Marsh Folly just west of Bishop Spencer Road is familiar to motorists.

Down the hill, by Victor Scott School, the road where Pembroke Canal starts its course yesterday remained deep in muddy water, while the flooded fields of Bernard Park were a playground for ducks.

The spokeswoman confirmed that the park's flooding starts at the canal, and would have to be left to drain by gravity “via a catch basin and underground pipes connected to the canal”.

Running close to the water table, the canal is a bottleneck for runoff that pours in off its built-up surroundings

“People always ask why they don't run a pipe down the hill to take the water away,” Mr Roach said. “But that's all marsh. That's no solution, but it's everyone's first thought.”

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Published Jan 10, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 10, 2017 at 9:44 am)

Residents hit by more flooding

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