Rains cause water woes on Hope Drive

Residents on Hope Drive off Smith Road are complaining of major flooding in the area due to heavy rain over the past few weeks.

The lower sections of the road are collecting rain water and hindering some residents from leaving their homes.

The flooding dilemma

Hope Drive resident Rupert Linton, right, speaks with neighbour Joao Fernandes about the flooding dilemma while wading through the water to put his trash in the bin.
Photo: Jewel Levy.

According to residents Rupert Linton and Joao Fernandes, flooding issues have been a problem for many years and getting help from any source has been a headache.

Mr. Linton said he has been living in the area for seven years after purchasing one of the Frank Hall Homes and flooding has always been a problem.

‘No amount of pleading, getting angry or calling the radio talk shows has resulted in getting help from private owners, strata, the community or government,’ he said.

National Road Authority Managing Director Brian Tomlinson said he knew of problems two years ago, but was not aware of any recent complaints.

He said at the time, residents were told it was not government’s responsibility to fix the road because it is privately owned.

‘That area has a strata that owns part of the road and the land, it is their duty to maintain the road and the surrounding area,’ said Mr. Tomlinson. He also said the other part of the road was privately owned.

Mr. Linton said he made it his business to speak with strata consultants and was told they were not responsible for the road because it was government owned.

Mr. Linton also said four drain wells installed by the strata company some years ago were already full and more wells were needed where the flooding was occurring.

He said he was even willing to put in as much as $200 with other residents and strata owners to get more wells in the area.

‘I am not blaming the government for not assisting with the problem,’ he said.

‘We cannot expect government to do everything, especially during this time when funds are scarce.’

Mr. Fernandes, also a resident of Hope Drive, said he gets his feet wet every morning transporting his children and school bags on his shoulders out to the bus stop. He said when he contacted the National Roads Authority he was told there was nothing they could do.

‘One worker sent to clear the drains said I would be better off selling my home and moving to someplace else,’ he said.

‘We pay strata fees and cannot see why the owners do not want to help with the situation. They are also saying it is not their responsibility.’

The Caymanian compass contacted BCQS Property Management and was told the Smith Road Villas Strata Committee was aware of the flooding issues.

A statement from the strata committee said deep wells constructed on the complex by the developer are not sufficient to handle the water collected in the area during heavy rains and most of the house lots in the complex get flooded during heavy rains.

The strata statement further noted that land in the whole development on Hope Drive should have been raised before houses were built.

‘Problems were there ever since the houses were built and the strata committee is wondering how Planning allowed these houses to be built without adequately raising the land to avoid flooding,’ said the statement.

‘Smith Road Villas, like many complexes on the island have been built on low and often reclaimed swampy areas. When we experience torrential or even heavy rain, and the tide rises, the wells actually work in reverse and water starts coming up through the wells, instead of draining down them.’

BCQS said it has been and are continuing to work with the Strata Committee and relevant authorities in an attempt to find a resolution this problem.