‘Piers will not cause flooding’, January 2019
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (14 January, 2019) The PWD Major Projects Office has released a statement to address misplaced fears that the planned cruise berthing facility and cargo port could exacerbate flooding in instances of extreme weather.
After uncharacteristically extreme weather last month resulted in flooding in George Town, some Cayman residents became concerned that the flooding could be exacerbated following the construction of two new piers.
This is incorrect and the Cayman Islands Government, through the PWD Major Projects Office, has already sought specialised expertise from the project’s marine engineers to confirm.
The Chief Project Manager for the Major Projects Office, Peter Ranger, said: “A wave overtopping study and flood risk assessment is being undertaken to ensure that flood risk to George Town for the areas to the North and South of the new development will be no greater than exists at present and will be reduced wherever possible. Therefore, the flood risk will not increase as a result of the new cruise berthing and cargo development.”
“In the footprint of the new development wave walls have been incorporated into the design that don’t exist at present to reduce wave overtopping and flooding in the cargo and cruise area in extreme weather conditions which will also protect central Georgetown.”
The Office also clarified that while the new piers will be better equipped to safely welcome ships in rougher weather than is currently the case, no ship would call on the new piers in the extreme conditions witnessed last month.
The cruise berthing facility will remove the need for hazardous transfers between the cruise ship, the tenders and the dock, while also increasing the amount of time spent onshore by tourists. This will play a key role in protecting thousands of jobs and boosting the island’s tourism industry which currently accounts for 25-30% of annual GDP.