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Mill Creek businesses welcome pending drainage work

Businesses and homeowners within reach of Pembroke Canal have welcomed news that Public Works intends to improve the drainage of Hamilton’s inland waterway.

Work is to start next week with the removal of mangroves at the point where the canal empties into Mill Creek, with more extensive construction to take place over the following three months.

“It’s music to my ears,” said TreeCon president David Rowntree, whose Cemetery Road business lies adjacent to the canal.

Every time a high tide coincides with rain, he said, the flooding affects the engines and brakes of his trucks, and occasionally spills out into the road itself.

Farther downstream, at Bermuda Forwarders, company president Toby Kempe described the plans as “a step in the right direction”.

Public Works intends to renovate the bridge over the canal and equip it with a new drainage valve, he said.

“I’ve met with Public Works and been told the new valve will increase the flow when the tide allows,” Mr Kempe said, adding: “This is the first stage. I have lots of things I’d like to see done.”

The business park, down at the end of the canal, flooded extensively two months back when heavy rains broke a long dry spell.

“If it flows better, that’s good news,” said Cemetery Road resident Charles Corbin, who had flooding into his garden last year.

Heavy Cup Match rains in 2010 brought Belco oil from the canal into Mr Corbin’s garden, which he said the company “did a great job restoring”.

“The canal does affect the road when it backs up and floods,” he said.

Both Mr Kempe and Mr Rowntree said they would like to see the roads around the canal raised higher to better resist floods.

“My business is in a building that’s been there for 20 years,” Mr Rowntree said. “The ground is subsiding in the area because of all the building that’s gone on. My front door used to be level with the drive, and now there’s a couple of stairs to get up.

“All they have to do is raise the land around the creek. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s like anything if it’s allowed to overflow, it will.”

Details of Public Works’ plans could not be confirmed. A Ministry spokesman said Public Works would consult with residents and businesses in the area to minimise any disruption caused while the work takes place.

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Published September 28, 2011 at 8:34 am (Updated September 28, 2011 at 8:33 am)

Mill Creek businesses welcome pending drainage work

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