Deluge floods West Bay Road

deluge cayman

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.” 

deluge in cayman drivers

Drivers maneuver their vehicles through a flooded section of West Bay Road in front of the Westin resort on Sunday. – PHOTO: DAVID R. LEGGE

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Given the situation seen at the weekend in front of the Westin Mr. Chin Yee will recommend an investigation of a new Well in the area.
    Very good if it will solve the problem. Same time NRA, I am bringing to your attention; that while you are investigating, you investigate the Cumber Avenue, of Bodden Town situation . A situation which has been blatantly ignored for ten years. The drains are never checked, only if a hurricane is a threat to the Island. Bush overgrown road sides. This area is a regular, daily tourist visited area having the Mission House, the Josie Centre, the Heritage Harry McCoy Park, and numerous Historic Treasure sites, like the First Well, Trees that are over three hundred years old, Slave Wall, Gun Square, The Cumber Ave. Park, and the Original home of Centurion Nettie Levy.
    So it is a good thing that Bodden Town has not had much rain this year, otherwise we would have been flooded to our necks again.
    Thanks to a man name Dart with a very good vision building the West Bay Highway; at least people can get in and out of George Town without getting their feet wet.
    There is always a solution to any situation we just have to make up our minds that we will do something about addressing it in the correct way.

  2. As far as I can remember, although Im only 32, as long as the road has been there, there has been water settling there. They forever blowing out the wells there, especially this time of year.

    However, before either bypass, Harquail or Esterly Tibbetts was built, when the original Holiday Inn was where the Ritz is now, there was water there.

    Actually I believe its better now, as it used to be about 20 inches of water or more and quite impassable at times except for those in utility trucks.

    We used to go through the Westin parking lot to get around the worst days.

  3. Sean Bean is spot on. It has been a problem since at least the seventies when cars went through the car park at the Falls and still do. The problem is a lack of proper drainage and should have been addressed when the Westin was built. There are no excuses. NRA needs fix it and the Falls need install drains in addition. Moreover every condo on the beach which is above the level of the road needs install proper drainage to ensure it does not flow onto the road. Planning board , please note.

  4. Hugh Jackson raises an interest point about tampering with nature. Whilst the Westin got probably between six and eight inches of rain between Wednesday and Saturday just one mile up the road there was barely an inch. Is this related to the huge removal of trees, mangrove and other fauna following the new super highway and construction of the new resort. I am not a great believer in coincidences.