Ferocious Atlantic knocks out sections of wave wall

Workers from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Sea and River Defence Unit installing the new barriers on the seawall yesterday.

High-energy tides knocked out sections of the wave wall along Subryanville over the weekend and these were replaced yesterday with weightier barriers.

The sections were tossed aside by the waves between Saturday evening and yesterday morning.

Workers from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s River and Sea Defence Unit installed the new barriers to prevent overtopping around noon yesterday.

Kevin Samad, Chief Sea and River Defence Officer, at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, explained that “the steel rods that were used to anchor the barrier to the existing wall corroded extensively resulting in the barriers being dislodged following intense wave impact last evening and this morning,” the Department of Public Information (DPI) reported.

Stabroek News was told that the new barriers which are approximately 10 feet in length would be a temporary fix until the ministry comes up with a permanent solution.

Senior Engineer from the River and Sea  Defence Unit, Murtland Stewart, who was on site when this newspaper visited, explained that the new barrier would be able to stand up to the powerful waves.

He noted that while they are the same length as the barriers that were knocked out by the waves, they are heavier and would be able to withstand the waves. “These are more robust in terms of weight and we don’t anticipate it moving easily but this is a temporary solution,” Stewart said.

“These dislodged barriers were done as a temporary intervention in 2013, by the Ministry’s Force Account Unit subsequent to major overtopping and flooding along the Rupert Craig Highway,” Samad explained in the DPI report.

The openings left behind over the weekend resulted in overtopping but did not cause any serious flooding.

Some yards in Subryanville were covered in the salt water and water levels in the drains had risen during the spring tide. However, residents said they were not badly affected as the water that had accumulated receded when the tide dropped.

Yesterday, during the peak of the tide at 5:37 pm, there was some overtopping and a section of the Rupert Craig Highway just before the Russian Embassy turn was covered in water. Some drivers sped through while others drove with caution.

Meanwhile, residents of Windsor Forest on the West Coast of Demerara also reported overtopping yesterday afternoon.

One resident told Stabroek News that they did not encounter any flooding as a result of the overtopping but noted the waves were exceedingly high.

The high tide was 3.17 metres. On Saturday night it was recorded at a height of 3.22 meters. The spring tide started last Tuesday, October 3 and is expected to continue until tomorrow.

The Hydrometeorologi-cal Office has advised residents in low-lying areas to take precautionary measures.

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