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Carrot Bay residents claim of being abandoned during high surf

- alleges no help came from PWD
Waves crashed ashore in the Carrot Bay area forcing rocks, sand and debris across the roadways and even into some yards. Photo:VINO
High surf also hit the Cane Garden Bay area as well and forced debris and sand all over the roadways. Photo: VINO
High surf also hit the Cane Garden Bay area as well and forced debris and sand all over the roadways. Photo: VINO
Some of the debris in the Cane Garden Bay area. Photo: VINO
Some of the debris in the Cane Garden Bay area. Photo: VINO
More of the damage that occurred in CGB. Photo: VINO
More of the damage that occurred in CGB. Photo: VINO
Portions of the seawall displaced with the erosion resulting from the surf. Photo: VINO
Portions of the seawall displaced with the erosion resulting from the surf. Photo: VINO
Debris on the Carrot Bay roadway. Photo: VINO
Debris on the Carrot Bay roadway. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Carrot Bay residents are wondering if they were completely forgotten when the recent excessively high surf forced its way past the coastline in their area as well as the shores of Cane Garden Bay.

Businessman, Mr Ulric Pilgrim, owner of Sappy’s Café and Island Paradise related that debris from the unusually high surf took over his premises completely earlier this week. Mr Pilgrim explained that his entire business place was flooded and the salt water even flooring some of the banana trees in his yard.

Mr Pilgrim further revealed that even though he had grown up in the area, this is the first time he has ever seen the surf appearing this rough. “We had to clean the roads, ghuts… if we get some serious rain, we [will] get flooded out…”

He described having to turn out with a small group of persons from the area to clear up the debris along the roadways with shovels and other hand tools. “We were in real bad shape here,” he explained. He also said it seemed as if the government forgot the persons in Carrot Bay as, according to him, no one had turned out to assist from the Public Works Department at any time during the almost week-long freak weather.

Another shopkeeper, who actually had his shop closer to the water’s edge, did not fare as badly and explained that he had not received any significant damage to his business location.

Pictures, it is said, often tell a thousand words and it was clear to any casual observer that made their way through the Carrot Bay and Cane Garden Bay areas during the course of the week, that deft and cautious manoeuvring was required to avoid the debris, rocks and other objects that littered the roadway.

It was also noticed that portions of the sea wall gave way due to the consistent and heavy force that it was met with from the roaring waves and there was evidence of some erosion along the shoreline. Actual damage to the roadway appeared minimal but the seawalls and any businesses that might have been located close-by, as expected, took the bulk of the impact and were seemingly the hardest hit.

Speaking with the Department of Disaster Management’s, Sharlene Dabreo, Virgin Islands News Online was told that there were no reports received of any damage. She did say, however, that the Department was aware that there was high surf in the area but repeated that there were no reports of any significant impact on the location.

First District Representative Andrew A. Fahie said he was able to survey the area and contact the relevant authorities to come to inspect the area. "I also requested of the relevant government authorities to have the area cleaned up as well as to move forward with the already existing mitigation sea defense plans as well as the Carrot Bay Development plan that was started during the immediate past Administration," he added.

He also noted that the "wave surge affected not only Carrot Bay but the entire Northern side of the 1st District like Capoon's Bay, Long Bay and Smuggler's Cove as well as other areas on the North in other Districts." Hon. Fahie was also thankful to God that no major damage was realised to date as well as no loss of lives or property.

Cane Garden Bay

Things were not much different over at Cane Garden Bay (CGB) as the ocean heaped loads of sand, rock and other debris onto the roadway several times a day during the week. There was also significant damage caused to sections of the roadway and also caused water-logging and left behind sand-filled stores and bars to be cleaned up afterwards.

Al Henley, one of the many ocean-front business owners in the CGB area, explained that his bar was heavily affected by the surf. He related a tale of standing watch from as early as 4 A.M. in the morning as the sand and water made their way further and further ashore. His bar eventually became filled with sand and forced the removal of much of his equipment to higher ground as he tried to mitigate any damages that may have come as a result of the surf.

Mr Henley, a long-time resident of the area, explained that he had seen worse weather and was prepared for some of the effects that it could have had on his business but was very sore about the fact that it coincided with the arrival of a cruise ship to the island.

Persons from the cruises usually populate the bars that line the shoreline in CGB but this time around they gave little more than a passing glance to those bars.

Another long-time resident of the area, Delvett Hodge, related that this was indeed the first time he had witnessed the ocean having this much of an effect on the roadways for a very long time.

Public Works response

The Public Works Department was quite active in the CGB area, being forced to come as much as twice per day several days of the week to clean up the roadways and remove some of the heavy rocks, thick layers of sand and other debris that lodged itself often as far as the nearby yards of some residents.

Devon Skelton of the Public Works Department (PWD) could not give a definite answer about what amount of work was done by the department in the areas but suggested that there was supposed to be some repair work being conducted on the road as well as the walls at the time in the CGB area specifically. “In Cane Garden Bay, there are at least three or four areas, but I’m not sure about Carrot Bay,” he said.

He revealed that the majority of the work being done was not necessarily as a result of the current high surf but for damages that were reported much earlier in the year. Efforts to reach the engineer involved in the project were not successful.

Mr Skelton later confirmed that reports were received about the debris on the roadway and the department responded to this as soon as it could.

Second District Representative Hon. J. Alvin Christopher said he observed the damage in the CGB area himself and was constantly on the phone with the PWD about cleaning up in the area. He said, the damage was “not only in Cane Garden Bay alone, the surf was extremely high… came all the way up into businesses and other things in the area.”

Hon. Christopher related “the major impact is the continual erosion of the road in Cane Garden Bay,” noting specifically, “that has to be addressed.”

“It’s a problem about three years old,” he expressed, “you get the Ministers out there… to look at it, you get costs on it, you try to get money in the budget, try to see if you get it addressed… that has been done from the last administration continuing to this one… it still hasn't been addressed yet…”

He explained that persons were looking at the problem as recently as a month ago and he noted there was still no solution, “I have ideas, but the Ministers and the Department have the final word,” Hon. Christopher said. “District Representatives don’t have a budget to work from, they can only report the incidents.”

35 Responses to “Carrot Bay residents claim of being abandoned during high surf ”

  • she the cat mother (02/11/2012, 07:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    tis seems like climate change
  • qc (02/11/2012, 08:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Gods wrath on the devil bvi
    • dog meat (02/11/2012, 08:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      qc Instead of thanking God for your life being spared and showing concern to the persons whoes businesses were damaged, you are discussing your personal view about religion.....SHAMEFUL!
      • say no (02/11/2012, 18:33) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        The reason we virgin islands people are experiencing these problems with mother nature is that we have turned our backs on God. We are living sinful lives.

        We are buying, wholesale, the useless crap coming out of North America and Europe. Certain loose, immoral lifestyles are fast becoming the norm in the VI. We are losing our spiritual identity.....
        • dee (04/11/2012, 14:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          You would have to be the most blind, deaf, dumb and stupid, brain-washed, Kool-Aid drinking's call global warming 'say no'
    • Well Sa!! (02/11/2012, 08:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      to qc..........What devil?? the one you brought???...........the wrath of God is every where....the entire caribbean, US and the rest of the world......get on the knees much more is to come.
  • zip it (02/11/2012, 08:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    it was hurricane Sandy bvi style!!!
    • doc (02/11/2012, 12:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      can somebody tell me if i am entitled to any compensation for the damage to my vehicle from sea water splaching all over my car in carrot bay and cane garden bay? can i sue government? why cant they fix the dawn road....what ever happen to the sea defense programme?
    • road range (02/11/2012, 12:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      the roads in Tortola are a disgrace come on goverment and Mark action man do something
  • egg face (02/11/2012, 08:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI people need to read your bible as father god coming for he world. Anybody heard about a guy by the name of Jobe? He was a righteous man yet catastrophy fell upon him big time. Oh, by the way God controls all things even the weather
  • . (02/11/2012, 08:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ndp wont help andrew at all
    • facts man (02/11/2012, 09:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      let's thank GOD it wasnt worst, a few fallen trees is nothing for God to plant back, a few fallen or flooded businesses is nothing for God to fix back. We say thanks that NO ONE lost their love ones.
    • I WILL COME BACK (02/11/2012, 12:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hmm, pwd can never live up to their promise. but a promise is a comfort to a fool..
    • dead (02/11/2012, 12:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      i agree wid . some of allyuh like it so.. allyuh voted for NDP at large... so now alyuh tex death
      • fill (02/11/2012, 18:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Maybe one day we will have political leaders who will put whats best for Tortola ahead of their ambition.
      • cnbc (02/11/2012, 18:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Some of deeds post mek me sick!!! I wish the country can come together and solve problems and work to improve the lives of ALL the citizens. Life is too short for all this squabble.....seriously!
      • GoonSquad (03/11/2012, 08:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Sht your face. The problem was there a long time ago but now you want to blame NDP government...too one sided
        • hello (04/11/2012, 07:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          like they should shut them face face because government financial woes started from 2006. Hitting the right spot.
  • move (02/11/2012, 09:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mother Nature is something else.
  • ATM (02/11/2012, 09:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The cost of the BVI is badly damage and PWD is a waste
    • help help help help (02/11/2012, 11:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This Government will do well to remember that often and sometimes unfortunately: "The medium is the message"...please help the people crying out after this event
    • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (02/11/2012, 12:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Constuction and road maintainance should be done by bids from independant companies with intregity. There is enough rocks, sand, cement and tar in the BVI to build good roads, gutters with cement retaining walls and navigatable side walks.
  • bvi (02/11/2012, 10:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    When I was a little girl we use to sing this song in Sunday School. "The foolish man built his house upon the sand..." etc. You decided to build your house in the sea, what do you expect? Dont blame Govt. for that
  • sea weed (02/11/2012, 10:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    seas were ruff meshon check out the north side of tola
  • love boat (02/11/2012, 10:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The clean up needed will never get resolved because apparently from reading the article no one is responsible.
  • cane garden bay (02/11/2012, 11:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It will be foolhardy of the Government to ignore the people of the 1st and 2nd distrits on this issue of costal damages
  • HILL TOP (02/11/2012, 12:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • WakeUp (02/11/2012, 13:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Never seen the sea so rough? What he talking about?
    18th March 2008. Plenty bigger.
    1992 Perfect Storm swell at least another half bigger.
    This one was big but people must not make things up in their search for govt. to give them free money.
    Two organizations, if you looking someone to blame:
    - Disaster Management should have put out more information on the coming swell which was forecast a week before and much bigger than it was in real time.
    - the media should have put out more information to all people so they knew what was expected. You see VINO and Platinum warning anyone, when the swell was forecast to be GIANT.
    We lucky it only came in at 12-14ft not the early forecast of 20ft.
  • DDM (02/11/2012, 14:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Information concerning Marine Conditions was sent out since 25/10/12. Please visit and you will see it is still posted there. This same information went out to the media and was on Facebook on 25 and 26.
    • WakeUp (02/11/2012, 22:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @DDM - you people usually do a fine job and it seems you did your best this time, too - so apologies for saying you to blame.
      So its up to the media companies to put the info out there when information comes through from DDM - and it seems they didn't do it.
      People got to learn to take the weather seriously because it's only getting more serious with the way the climate changing.
      Come on VINO and others, stop focusing on tittle tattle VIP vs NDP nonsense. If all you had given residents of the north side the proper information they could have prepare a lot better.
  • . (02/11/2012, 17:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI received a ransom of money as a Commonwealth country to mitigate issues such as these related to climate change. Is that what's going to pay for the cruiseship dock and airport?
  • man rat (02/11/2012, 18:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Of course there are many reasons for citizens in thoes areas to feel aggrieved with the performance of the PWD and government on help with clean up!!!
    • NEXT (02/11/2012, 23:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      well the NDP said the VIP left us broke so many they do not have any $$$$ to help these people..he he ha ha
  • DarkVader (03/11/2012, 08:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP NEVER said they do not have money to help those, VIP left the country broke but the country must move on. It was up to the present government to find money to get the country moving and they did...
  • x factor (03/11/2012, 09:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    let's be happy we were not being pounded by rain and win from hurricane Sandy like Jamdown and the USA east coast

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