Flooding headache for residents

Been enjoying the cool reprieve brought on by recent heavy rains?

Spare a thought for the residents of Hope Drive, off Smith Road, some of whom have become virtual prisoners in their own homes due to flooding.

On Friday, water lapped at the door of homes and blanketed the road in water that was as deep as 12 inches in parts.

Residents concede the drive is naturally low lying, but say two recent housing developments on either side of them have turned a trickle into a flood.

‘This is a total nightmare,’ said Ernesto Gallego, 55, who has lived on Hope Drive for over 20 years.

‘You can’t even walk out your front gate when it rains. It’s a big problem.’

The developer of the two adjacent properties, Frank Hall, said it was unavoidable that higher housing developments make those on lower ground more vulnerable.

But he said the real problem is blocked drainage wells.

Mr. Gallego said the drainage well simply can’t withstand the amount of water that floods into the street when it rains. He wants another well built further away, with a trip pump kicking into action to pump water from one well to the other.

Mr. Gallego said residents have contacted Works and Infrastructure Minister Arden McLean about the problem a number of times, but they are unsure if the problem is one for government, the developer or the residents to resolve.

The flooding is affecting eight houses in the middle of Hope Drive the worst, but it is also making life difficult for the many residents at the Hope Springs Apartment Complex, a large complex at the bottom of the drive.

They can avoid the worst of the flooding, but still have to drive through a good foot or two of water to escape to the road’s higher part after heavy rains.