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Dec 2, 2005

Rain/bad drainage flood Fresh Pond community

Story PictureWhen they moved to an area called “Fresh Pond,” they didn’t expect to actually live in one every time it rained. But tonight residents of the Burrell Boom neighbourhood say that’s exactly what poor drainage and saturated soils have forced them to endure.

Thirty-four year old Dalton Gillett and his four legged friend ?Trouble Rubbles? had a rough day. For hours, the two were stuck in just under a foot of water that engulfed the family?s property and several other residences in the Fresh Pond community in Burrell Boom Village.

Jacqueline Woods
?It is the lower end of the Fresh Pond community that is under water. Residents say it is not the first time that their neighbourhood has been flooded. The concern is if the rain keeps up, water will start going inside their houses.?

Dalton Gillett, Area Resident
?For the first time in three years, I got up this morning and if I had decided to go to Belize City I wouldn?t have been able to walk in my yard to go to my car. I would have been in about six inches of water or maybe more.?

Gillett says when it started to rain very heavily this morning he started feeling nervous because he knew it would not be long before the area would flood. Today it took just under an hour for the water to cover drains, streets, and yards. A total of six families are greatly affected. Many of those residents reluctantly left to go to work not knowing if conditions would have worsen by the time they return home.

Dalton Gillett
?This morning when I got outside in my yard it was the closest I have ever seen it to my veranda in the front. It normally comes in my yard and by evening time if it stops raining, the water would run off after a period of time. But this morning I must say I was really frightened when I saw that amount of water right at my doorstep.?

Gillett braved the wet conditions to try and clean up the mess.

Dalton Gillett
?There are three culverts that I can maybe look at or try and see if there is any blockage or anything so I have been doing that since this morning and the water is actually running through the culverts, it?s just amount of water that is coming down. It?s too much for the one culvert that is actually in the drain. So if we would have other areas where the water could have drained off through other culverts, then definitely sure we wouldn?t have this problem.?

It is a problem that is also affecting other residential communities like Los Lagos, located less than ten miles away on the Northern Highway. The housing subdivision managed by the Development Finance Corporation, has been installing culverts to address the flood prone areas where several houses sit in water every time it rains.

Further down the road in Ladyville Village, a flooded school yard kept Our Lady of the Way Roman Catholic primary school closed for the day.

Tonight, the Fresh Pond Community is hoping that the Ministry of Works, who dispatched a team to the area to survey the flood this morning, will come up with a concrete plan to solve the problem.

Dalton Gillett
?It needs more drainage. There is only one draining system and it is not sufficient. I would like am, I being a person that is in construction and other stuff, road building and stuff with my father over the years, I know it is costly, but it?s something that I think if we take it a step at a time it can be remedied; the situation can be fixed.?

As for Trouble Rubbles? He?s hoping it won?t rain cats and dogs this weekend. (Trouble Rubbles barking)

Previous strategies to alleviate flood conditions in Fresh Pond by the Ministry of Works have included reinforcing drainage pipes to allow the water to flow freely.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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