By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
GRAND Bahama Port Authority is investing $80,000 annually to ensure Freeport’s drainage system is “storm ready” to prevent flooding.
The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season started on June 1, and the GBPA conducts extensive assessments of storm drains throughout the city, removing of any debris that may have accumulated in them over time.
The City Maintenance and Management Section (CMMS) of the GBPA Building and Development Services (BDS) department is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the drainage system within the Port area.
“Over the last 13 years, GBPA has installed more than 65 new drains and are committed to continuing to modify drains as needed,” Troy McIntosh, GBPA’s Deputy Director & City Manager of BDS, said.
“GBPA has invested $80,000 annually throughout the period to ensure the reparation and servicing of existing storm drains and installation of new drains to provide increased capacity in areas where flooding has occurred in the past.”
Mr McIntosh further stated: “We understand that potential flooding is a major concern for residents, in particular with the experience from the most recent catastrophic Hurricane Dorian. This is why the GBPA remains committed to maintaining the city’s drainage systems through ongoing maintenance, including the removal of any debris or garbage accumulated in the drains over time, to ensure that drains are storm-ready all year round.”
The GBPA official noted that experts have anticipated an above-average hurricane season this year, which was borne out by the early arrival of the season’s first tropical cyclone on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
“This weather event enabled GBPA to evaluate the overall performance of the city’s drainage system,” MR McIntosh said.
He stated that during the storm the drains functioned at optimal performance. Once the heavy rainfall had passed, he said the flooding subsided within two hours or less.
“This past weekend was a great help for GBPA to see how well the existing drainage system operates and identifying a few locations where there is room for improvement, added Mr. McIntosh. During a heavy rainfall it is possible for our drains to reach capacity, thus causing our roads to flood. To determine if there is a cause for concern, we recommend that residents observe the drains for three to four hours after the rain has completely stopped to see whether the drain is performing as it should.”
The public is advised to contact the BDS Department at 352-2000, or lodge a complaint in the Freeport Report App, to advise of instances where the water has not subsided within three to four hours so that further assessments can be conducted.
For the latest updates and information on storm drain maintenance, residents can follow the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s social media sites or visit its website at www.gbpa.com.