Torrential rain left a section of West Bay Road looking like a lake on Sunday, creating a hazard for motorists and causing disruption to businesses along the Seven Mile strip.
A pool of water, in some places estimated at up to a foot deep, covered the road, sidewalk and a large part of the parking lot in the Cayman Falls retail plaza opposite the Westin resort.
The National Roads Authority said drains in the area were in working order and had been recently vacuumed but were overwhelmed by the intensity of the downpour. The authority is now investigating the possibility of creating a new drain well along that section of road.
Mike Harvey, general manager of Legendz bar, Eats cafe and Yoshi Sushi in the Cayman Falls plaza, said the road and car park are frequently flooded in heavy rainfall.
“Anytime we have a downpour it is bad, but [Sunday] was the worst I have ever seen. It definitely stopped people coming into our establishment – nobody wants to drive their car into that.”
He said he had seen several cars stall in the water on West Bay Road, forcing drivers to get out and push. The situation was at its worse between midday and 4:30 p.m., he said.
Morty Valldejuli, general manager at the Westin Grand Cayman resort, said the water was up to a foot deep in places. He said one of the three entrances to the hotel was effectively out of commission because the water was so deep.
“It was a pretty heavy downpour on Sunday. I don’t think the storm drains can handle that much rain in such a short space of time,” he added.
Monica Rivers, property manager for the Cayman Falls plaza, said she was alerted about flooding concerns during a downpour on Friday. She said she had spoken to the National Roads Authority about the drains and was now talking with Island Paving to see if anything could be done to raise the entrance to the car park.
“It was like a river on Friday. The businesses are not particularly happy about it. It makes it difficult to find parking because no one wants to park in a pond,” she added.
The NRA says the drains along the section of the road in front of the Westin are regularly maintained and vacuumed.
Brian Chin Yee, works manager for the authority, said, “The water from the downpour was just overwhelming.
“Given the situation we saw at the weekend, I’m going to recommend we investigate the possibility of putting a new well in that area.”