Breach in dam led to Buxton flooding

-NDC Chairman

The breach located near the gate of the east sideline dam.

The Chairman of the Buxton/Foulis NDC says that that the week-long flooding that occurred in sections of Buxton near the railway embankment was the result of a six-foot-wide-breach in the east sideline dam, which was repaired yesterday afternoon.

Chairman Deon Abrams had related that city engineers had visited the area yesterday morning to assess the condition of the dam, and reported that by 3pm yesterday, the breach had been fixed. It is anticipated that the area should be cleared of water within a few days’ time.

Up to around midday yesterday, the yards of some residents in South Buxton remained waterlogged, while others, more elevated, had already drained after recent rains. Residents reported that water started receding from their yards on Saturday.

There have been two periods of intense rainfall that contributed to flooding in the past weeks: the first, just before Christmas, and the second when rains returned last week.

In Middle Street, Buxton, a woman was spotted wading through a waterlogged field in her long boots. Her house was located some distance from the road, and after some minutes testing the area with her boot, contemplating the next move, she turned around and proceeded back inside.

In Company Dam, pensioner Cameron Milton complained that the floods had taken from him 20 ducklings and four full-grown ducks. He has now only three ducks remaining. Water had also entered his shop, putting him out of business for days.

In that same yard, Dexter Williams and his girlfriend had been temporarily displaced after floodwaters the height of their bedframe entered the premises.

Buxtonian Oswald McGarrell, a former councillor of the Neighbour-hood Democratic Council (NDC), reported that the breach in the dam, which he described as being seven to eight feet in width and measuring about five feet in depth, occurred approximately three weeks ago.

As a result of this breach, he explained, the water from the Company canal— an irrigation canal—had overflowed into the drainage canal. He did, however, acknowledge that given Buxton’s geography, there was bound to be some amount of flooding. “Anyone who knows Buxton knows that it is in a basin, or a bowl. So water will always be there.”

Abrams had related yesterday that seven to eight inches of floodwater had already receded but because of the inflow of water from the irrigation canal, water was taking longer than usual to flow off the land.

He also pointed out that the dam had been breached in a different location prior to this incident, and that the overflow had caused erosion.

Contractor David Joseph lives just over the road from where the dam was first breached. A contractor himself, Joseph expressed his dissatisfaction with the quality of work executed by the man that had been hired to fix the breach.

Joseph related that the dam was breached over a year ago and since then, although a revetment was placed where the area was eroded, he commented that the contractor should have “plaited” all the planks to provide reinforcement against the water in the canal. Furthermore, the depression in the road should have been filled.

He made a call for the relevant authorities to look into the issue, noting that he had made a complaint to the overseer at the NDC.

Resident Alex Thomas stated that after Council had “pall off” the eroded area, no filling had been done as they claimed not to have enough money. In response to this, Abrams stated that he had been in discussions with an engineer yesterday concerning filling the eroded section of the dam.



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