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CIAA says airport flooding issue being addressed

It was business as usual at the Owen Roberts International Airport Wednesday (26 June).
It comes a day after passengers were faced with flooding at the airport’s departure lounge.

Arriving and departing travelers had to wade through flooded floors at the newly re-opened multi-million dollar facility Tuesday (25 June).
The Authority said the heavy rainfall overwhelmed the airport’s  220,000 gallon water cistern that was already near capacity.
In a statement Wednesday the Authority said crews were mobilised immediately to deal with the water.
They used pumping equipment to clear the cistern and clean-up the impacted areas.
The Authority stressed the “flooding was not a result of any roof leaks or water ingress under doors. At no time was there more than one inch of water in the terminal. The main affected areas were a portion of the departure hall and utility rooms.”
It added it is working on solutions to ensure the flooding that affected the airport yesterday does not re-occur.

Those solutions include immediate plans are to “increase deep well capacity and to put electronic monitoring of the cistern levels in place with appropriate notification and systems to ensure the level of water in the cistern is continuously managed. Our engineers are currently working on the design to facilitate this.”

Read the CIAA statement below:

Flooding Incident at Owen Roberts International Airport

 Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (26 June 2019) The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), which owns and operates the Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) and the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport (CKIA), issued a statement today regarding the flooding incident that occurred at the airport on Tuesday, 25 June 2019.

The incident occurred during a period of heavy rainfall at approximately 2:00 p.m., at which time this extreme weather event overwhelmed the airport’s 220,000 gallon water cistern used primarily for fire protection and irrigation. The cistern is supplied by rain harvesting through roof drains, which is one part of the Authority’s sustainability efforts at ORIA.

The cistern was near capacity prior to the heavy rainfall, which in turn caused an overflow of water into a deep well. This quickly reached capacity by the excessive rainfall, eventually exceeding the capacity of the cistern and ultimately causing the flooding in the terminal. The flooding was not a result of any roof leaks or water ingress under doors. 

At no time was there more than one inch of water in the terminal.  The main affected areas were a portion of the departure hall and utility rooms. Crews were mobilized immediately to mitigate the cistern levels by using ancillary pumping equipment and to address the flooding clean up. 

An airport action team has been mobilized as an incident response to identify the flooding causes and solutions. Mitigation measures are being put in place to ensure it does not happen again. The Authority considers this a priority due to seasonal weather patterns that we are currently experiencing.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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