The US Flood Control recently demonstrated to the Ministry of Works and Public Utilities how to reinforce The Bahamas’ resiliency after a storm or flood using the Tiger Dam System as a first line of defense.
In preparation of the upcoming hurricane season, the 30-minute setup of the system consisting of elongated, connected, flexible tubes show – in a real-life situation – how water can effectively be stopped in flood prone areas around the country.
Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears explained how the government will be seeking to work in partnership with the local and international representatives on making the system available for usage.
“Many of our communities were not designed with the proper irrigation and flood management systems, so we are engaged in a catch-up exercise. But fortunately, there is new technology and new methods accessible to us,” said Minister Sears. “The Tiger Dam will give us a flexible, rapid response where there’s a ponding of water on our streets in certain communities that can damage people’s homes and furniture. We now have a mechanism that can be assembled quickly, water can be pumped from that area into the Tiger Dam and then deployed elsewhere.
“We will be making arrangements for the purchase of this mechanism as our tool kit for flood mitigation.”
Local Principal Jamaal Butler said the system has been the go-to resource for coastal areas in the US, Canada and other countries for several decades as intensifying hurricanes continually wreak damage amounting to billions of dollars in economic and structural damage.
“We want people to be able to restore normalcy to communities here in The Bahamas after a disaster in a quick, efficient manner that allows residents to minimize damages to their investments,” said Butler. “For instance, had we lined the Western Area that recently flooded at the onset with the Tiger Dams, we could have prevented water filling up the homes and affecting the businesses that were in that community and it would not have been labor intensive, because this demonstration only took three of us to deploy in less than half hour.
“We can certainly provide the government with the resources they need to assist Bahamians in this regard. We look forward to partnering with the government and extending our services.”
Henry Moxey, senior engineer at the Ministry of Public Works, said areas like Coral Harbour and the airport road , among other “very flat” communities, would be good areas for the 50-ft Tiger Dam tube links to be positioned right before a storm.
“We would like to mitigate against water going into the runway area,” he said. “There are one or two more areas along western new provide where the sea walls does not continue, we can really deploy this strategy to mitigate the impact here.”
Yamacraw resident Doreen Rolle – who has replaced thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture and household appliances after past floodings in her area – said she was happy to see the government finally working towards solving the problem ahead of the rainy season. After watching the demonstration, she was optimistic that the Tiger Dam could offer some solution to her neighborhood’s flooding challenging.
“We need this because we cannot keep just hearing talk,” Rolle said, “we want solutions now.”
Source: Inderia Saunders