The Pinewood community is seeking to alleviate the issue of flooding by purchasing a flood pump truck, a community representative revealed.
Pinewood Community Gardens resident Jerad Darville said residents are hoping to raise $120,000 to purchase the pump truck ahead of the approaching rain and hurricane seasons.
“Together, as a community, we came up with the idea of getting a water pump truck. During the flooding and the excess rain, we would have the pump truck dispatched to pump out the excess water and displace it, so that we can alleviate the flooding issues and damage to the homes and valuables in the homes when we have excess rain,” Darville told Guardian Business yesterday.
“The reason we are doing this initiative on our own is because the hurricane season is fast approaching. Pinewood does not qualify for any hurricane relief in terms of damages and being able to get duty-free exemptions, so if anything happens again to Pinewood, the community is on its own.
“As well, the government is already cash strapped and it doesn’t have any money allocated to assist us with the flooding issues and to be able to fix it on a permanent scale. So, we have come together for a temporary fix in a water pump truck, so that anytime the rain comes down, we will be able to handle this situation by ourselves.”
A high capacity flood control pump is used for removing large amounts of water during flooding.
As recently as last September, when New Providence experienced heavy rainfall associated with the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian, Pinewood was one of several flood-prone communities to suffer from rising waters, leading many residents to evacuate their homes.
The former Christie administration approved an $8 million project to alleviate the flooding issues in Pinewood in 2014, but nothing has reportedly come from that initiative.
Darville said his community is not convinced the government will address the issue before the next period of heavy rain and is therefore holding a coin drive every Saturday until it reaches its goal to purchase the truck.
“We’re trying to raise $120,000 because we’re looking to get one pump truck and also individual smaller pumps, so if we do have flash flooding, we can have individual pumps that can go inside the homes to be able to suck out the water from the homes and shoot it out into the road, so the pump truck can gather it from there,” he said.
“We are having a coin drive this weekend. We’re having it every Saturday until we reach our mark. We’ll be on the roundabout in Pinewood by Charles Saunders Highway and Bamboo Boulevard. We’re going to be out there with our jugs and we’re asking persons – since the Central Bank is disbanding the one cent coin – to donate your one cents and donate your small coins to help this initiative. Every piece of change can bring a small change in our community. We are also looking for the business community to support because many residents in the Pinewood community would love to support a business that supports them.”
The Pinewood constituency has approximately 5,000 residents. Darville said about 3,000 are directly impacted every year by regular flooding. He said the flooding doesn’t only impact the finances of residents.
“What happens is, when the flooding happens, it affects residents on several levels. It affects them on an environmental level because you have mosquitos and the water table can now become contaminated. Socially, once it starts flooding, persons have to find alternative routes to get to their homes, nobody can drive straight home because of the risk of their cars stalling; and thirdly, we have the financial damage from the flooding, with the water going into those houses,” he said.
“We have that across the main Sapodilla Avenue, you have that through Maple and Spice Street, the roads down through Buttonwood, through Jacaranda, through Cottonwood, also through Rosewood and Guinep Tree Street. We have a lot of areas. Pinewood is on a sloop going down, so the further south you go in Pinewood the water settles.”