Fourth District Representative and Opposition Member Hon. Mark Vanterpool is urging the government to consider making sea defense a recovery priority in order to prevent water damage that occurred in The Bahamas happening here in the Territory.
The Fourth District Representative made the comment on 17 September while speaking at a public meeting on the UK Loan Guarantee and BVI recovery and development that was held at the Enis Adams Primary School.
In noting that sea defense is something that should be considered as one of the immediate projects, Hon. Vanterpool said: “What I saw in the Bahamas in the Abaco Island and in Grand Bahama where water was up to the second and sometimes third floors of homes, went over the entire island. I realized that we in the BVI are vulnerable.”
“I would strongly recommend that any hurricane center on the low-lying areas based on what I saw in The Bahamas needs to be rethought and anybody that’s going to shelter from a major hurricane that’s coming our way. We need to get to higher ground 30 feet or more as is suggested in a tsunami,” the Opposition Member said.
Hon. Vanterpool noted that such strong waves seem to accompany hurricanes and considering what happened with hurricane Irma he said that sea defense should not be ignored. As he commented on the damage the giant waves caused in The Bahamas, Hon. Vanterpool said: “It wasn’t a tsunami over on Grand Bahama, it was a hurricane and all of those homes were covered over with water.”
In drawing a connection to the Territory and the effect a similar hurricane can have Hon. Vanterpool said: “Our shorelines, our villages on the low-lying areas likewise – Sea Cows Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Carrot Bay, West End, Road Town… The Valley, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke; all of these places we need to stop and rethink how we are going to prepare for hurricanes.”
The Fourth District Representative said: “I would be very worried if I hear a category three or four or five hurricane is coming our way and I am on the low-lying area where we experienced in hurricane Irma 20 and 30 foot waves on the north shoulders especially. None of us can predict what happened in The Bahamas where the hurricane sat over them for 36 hours and therefore God see for us if that water stays at that level for 24 or 36 hours what will happen to our villages and our people.”
“I emphasize that to say — we need to go down to Carrot Bay and to Cane Garden Bay, and put some huge boulders along the sea; so that when the 20 and 30 foot wave break they would break at least some water would come. But, it might not have 30 feet of water coming into the homes on the shore lines. We need to start planning and preparing,” the Opposition Member added.