Airport flooded as torrential rains hit Cayman

Heavy rain caused flooding in parts of Cayman, Tuesday, including at the new multi-million dollar airport terminal.

Images of parts of the newly developed $68 million terminal inundated with water spread through social media Tuesday as users questioned how such a recent development could be flooded so easily.

Airport chiefs met Wednesday to get to grips with the problem. A statement from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority on Wednesday afternoon attributed the flooding to overflow from a 220,000 gallon water cistern and insisted there were no leaks or structural issues with the building.

The water tank, supplied by rainwater from the airport’s roof and primarily used for fire protection and irrigation, was “overwhelmed” by the “extreme weather”, officials said.

The overflow from the cistern had a knock-on effect on a deep well which also overflowed, causing the flooding in the terminal.

“The flooding was not a result of any roof leaks or water ingress under doors,” the statement read. “At no time was there more than one inch of water in the terminal. The main affected areas were a portion of the departure hall and utility rooms. Crews were mobilized immediately to mitigate the cistern levels by using ancillary pumping equipment and to address the flooding clean up.”

The statement added that an airport “action team” has been put together to identify flooding causes and solutions.

Areas of the recently opened terminal building at Owen Roberts International Airport flooded on Tuesday during a torrential downpour.

Meanwhile, residents vented on social media and in messages to media outlets.

One Compass reader wrote on Tuesday, “After today’s heavy rainfall in the [George Town] area for a few hours, the airport departure lounge flooded. Water was also coming through baggage claim. The walkways outside that passengers take were also covered in water; and of course passengers then had to board/deplane in the torrential rain. What I don’t understand is why we had flooding inside the airport?”

The heavy rain caused flooding elsewhere across Grand Cayman.

At the Humane Society, as the shelter’s cat room and car park filled with water, the organisation issued an appeal over social media for people to foster cats and dogs.

Rainy weather conditions are expected to continue at least until Saturday.