As we continue our Hurricane Irma coverage, we take a look at some neighborhoods in Cayman prone to flooding.
Some of you in Windsor Park and Randyke gardens know all too well how the quickly the water can rise. Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter was in those communities today (6 September) and talked with residents about their concerns as Irma looms in the region.
In neighborhoods like Windsor Park when the rain pours, it floods regardless if it’s Hurricane Season or not and some residents are asking their elected officials to step up and build some wells like what is happening in Randyke gardens.
“See if they can start some wells going again, before the peak of the hurricane season come around, the peak is not on us yet you know, September just start,” said Rudolph “Blemo” Ross, A community activist based in Windsor Park.
Rudolph Blemo Ross, a community activist in the Windsor Park says drainage systems, or wells, were planned to be built, but he has not heard of anything more since the election.
“Wells was on the project, there were a few places already marked for those wells to be dug, like I said, I haven’t seen one of the two yet (MLA’s from George Town West and George Town South),” said Mr. Ross.
Across George Town in Randyke Gardens, resident Sheldon Edwards, said he is glad works are being done to combat the flooding the neighborhood experiences.
“Well I see they have done some work from the other day around here, drill out some well and things, I think that is good still that is really needed around here,” said Mr Edwards.
In 2004 these communities were devastated with the passage of Hurricane Ivan and with Irma lurking in the region, Mr. Edwards said he doubts he will be staying in his apartment if a hurricane hits.
“I don’t know the effects after Ivan so, but what I see when I come around here, with the water thing, don’t think so,” said Mr. Edwards.
While the forecasters said we are not expected to take a direct hit the Cayman Islands should still be prepared.
For a list of storm tips:
Carefully assess your home. Start by ensuring that trees are gently pruned (if necessary), especially if they are close to power lines or water pipes. This will minimise damage to your electricity and water supply from debris and uprooted plants.
Never attempt to cut branches close to power lines yourself; call CUC on Tel: and their Customer Service Department will send a team to evaluate your property and trim any potential hazards.
You should also ask your gardener or strata maintenance to remove coconuts as they become dangerous missiles in high winds and a threat to your home.
Go through the ‘Things To Do’ checklist leading up to a storm and ensure that you turn off your main breaker and unplug appliances to prevent electrical damage from lightning and power surges. Cayman is a small, flat island so sea levels can rise during storm surge. In the event of a major hurricane (category three or above), move to at least 10ft above sea level (the storm surge during Ivan was measured at 8-10ft). If possible find higher ground to park your car and boat.
Make plans to be without power for 5–7 days, though it could be even longer. After Hurricane Ivan, it took 3–8 weeks for electricity and landline telephones and about 1–2 weeks for water supplies to be restored to most parts of Cayman. You should have an emergency supply of canned food and water that will last for at least a week. It is advised to store a gallon of water per day for each person in your house. To keep drinking water cool, store containers in dark locations. Also, having a portable radio with extra batteries on hand is very important. Radio Cayman 89.9FM is a good radio station for hurricane information and updates on how the storm is progressing, although your favourite radio station will also keep you updated.
Preparation is the key – it’s too late to install hurricane shutters or a generator during the hurricane season as parts take time to order and install. When a hurricane is imminent, it is too late to measure up and try to fit plywood shutters or to buy supply kits, as other people will be doing the same and supplies may run short. It is also too late to think about saving your personal items, important documents, filling the car gas tank and water containers or withdrawing money from the bank when a hurricane is imminent, as the water and power may be turned off 12 hours before the hurricane hits! Remember that weather conditions will turn wet and windy well before the hurricane is due to hit, so your preparations will be further hampered.
Take out enough cash to last you for a few weeks, as no one will take personal cheques after a storm, ATM machines may not work and banks could ration cash withdrawals.
Decide where you are going to stay for the duration of a hurricane well ahead of time. If your home is strong, elevated and away from the coastline, then it is probably the best place to ride out a storm. Check with neighbours ahead of time and ask about the vulnerability of the surrounding area in which you live. If you decide that it is safe to stay in your home, find the safest areas in your house and potential escape routes as well. If you determine that your property is not strong enough (or if the location in which you live makes it vulnerable) then plan to evacuate. Low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding are at particular risk.
Mitchell , Lynda. “Hurricane Tips.” Cayman Resident