Two Buxton breaches to be fixed by Wednesday
Stabroek News
December 17, 2001

The two largest of the three breaches at the Buxton/Friendship seawall are expected to be sealed by Wednesday morning, according to project engineer of the sea defence unit, Mike Lall.

Lall told Stabroek News yesterday that the team is working continuously to close the 67 and 57-foot breaches which were caused by strong wave action on Friday. Meanwhile, work on the 27-foot breach should be completed by Thursday, he stated, adding that all necessary materials including sand, stone and cement have been supplied by the Ministry of Public Works. A number of residents in the area have been affected but the breaches occurred away from the heavily populated zones of Buxton.

Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy paid a visit to the scene yesterday and told Stabroek News that his ministry's team stands prepared to handle any possible emergencies should flooding occur.

"The response was very quick and the remedial work being done at the site is moving along at a fast pace," Chairman of the Buxton/Foulis Neighbourhood Democratic Council, Randolph Blair told this newspaper. He added that the most important thing for villagers is that there has been no major catastrophe so far.

However, residents of the affected village and neighbouring districts should stay clear of the seawall and thus avoid the possible danger of high waves, warns Public Relations Consultant for the Public Works ministry, Ajay Baksh. Baksh further explained that critical emergency repairs are being effected on some 500 metres of the seawall in that area.

Three sections of the seawall, believed to be over 40 years old collapsed on Friday afternoon at around 3 pm, causing parts of Buxton to be submerged. By evening, several homes were under water due to the pressure of severe spring tides which disrupted remedial work on Saturday, when they returned in full force at noon that day.

In an effort to reduce chances of flooding, the Friendship koker has been opened, drains dug and culverts cleared while the Strathspey pump has been set up as well. A press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) had said that the engineer had referred to the current weather pattern as being unusual therefore possibly contributing to the breach. In addition to sealing the breached areas, boulders would be placed on the seaward side to break the force of the waves.

Last year November, a section of the wall close to the present breaches had given away causing flooding in the area.

Minister of Local Government, Harripersaud Nokta visited the area earlier yesterday while Regional Chairman, Alan Monroe, Sea Defence Chief, George Howard (who went to the site on Saturday, too) and son of the proprietor of Hamilton's Esso Service station in Buxton, Brian Hamilton re-visited the breaches shortly before noon. (Edlyn Benfield)