Good news keeps pouring out of the 2006 National Hurricane Plan.
It’s a comfort to know that the men and women who helped formulate the new plan have taken our desires and concerns when it comes to natural disasters to heart and have crafted a plan that addresses most of the issues we faced during and following Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
One of the major concerns was the debris that was left in the storm’s wake.
Those of us who were on Grand Cayman right after the storm can remember manoeuvring around mountains of debris as roadways reopened and life on the island began its slow trek back to normality.
Most of us did what we could to pick up and clean up around our homes and places of employment.
But sometimes it seemed the more we cleaned up, the larger the piles of debris and trash grew.
We dealt with the debris for two months before Government brought in a private contractor from out of country to begin the arduous task of cleaning up.
We watched as dump trucks hauled debris and trash to various dump sites where it was sorted.
Most of the junk eventually wound up at the George Town Landfill, dubbed now Mount Trashmore because of its growing mass.
The new hurricane plan ensures that we won’t have to wait so long to have debris removed following a disaster.
Cleanup has been placed in the hands of local contractors.
It’s something heavy equipment operators requested when Government was looking for someone to help clean up Grand Cayman after Hurricane Ivan.
Heavy equipment operators harshly criticized Government when it hired MC Restoration at a price tag of US$10.7 million.
The local contractors argued they could do the job better for a cheaper price.
Government listened and granted local contractors their wish.
In addition to putting cleanup in the hands of the people on Grand Cayman, the plan provides for pre-identification of debris storage sites.
Sites won’t be OK’d until they meet the approval of the Water Authority and the Department of Environment.
We hope we don’t face another disaster this year, but if we do we can all take comfort that the National Hurricane Plan addresses many of our concerns, including debris.