Cayman 27 – ARCHIVE
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NRA crews harness powerful vacuum truck to clear clogged drains

More than a week of wet weather – 9.1 inches since Saturday the 19th – has given our island paradise a proper soaking.

To cope with all that water, the National Roads Authority is busy ensuring Cayman’s network of drainage wells are clear of debris.

When Cayman’s drains are stopped up, NRA crews counter with an industrial sized remedy: like an ordinary vacuum, only much bigger and more powerful.

“She can vacuum and as you can see, she can blow drains at the same time,” said NRA Machine Operator Ricky Bodden.

He told Cayman 27 he’s been working all over Cayman since the rain started falling some ten days ago.

“We’ve been in Windsor Park most of the time, we went to East End, then Savannah, West Bay Road, Snug Harbor, we’ve been basically all over Cayman so far, South Sound, basically all over Cayman doing drains,” said Mr. Bodden.

The truck is loud, and what emerges from the drains, sometimes forcefully… let’s just say it isn’t always pretty.

“That’s tar, oil, mud, all kinds of stuff all mixed together there,” said Mr. Bodden.

With a little elbow grease, and some help from the powerful suction of the vacuum truck,  the crew of two manages to clear the blockage.

The well is now cleared to a depth of 92 feet..

Mr. Bodden told Cayman 27 this vacuum truck – in service from last year – is a big upgrade over the old model.

“With this one, we can just put the hose in to the catch basin, put the blowing thing down inside the well, blow out all the dirt that’s down inside there and it don’t go back in to the well,” said Mr. Bodden.

To report a clogged drain in need of attention from the NRA vacuum truck, contact the NRA hotline at 525-1251.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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