High tide flooding…Ocean View Hotel suffers major damage; alert ends today
The aftermath of Monday evening’s flood was especially bad for management of the Ocean View International Hotel.
While the overtopping waters caused a great deal of unease to commuters, it was not comparable to the damage that the owner of the Ocean View International Hotel and Convention Hall, Mr. Jacob Rambarran, experienced. He is now counting millions of dollars in damage.
The strong waves bolted through the hotel’s lobby and into 20 rooms as well as two offices and a storage room in the bottom flat of the building.
Speaking with this publication, Rambarran said that while this is not the first time that his Hotel has been affected by floods, the water being “this high” is not regular.
Within the span of 30 minutes, water began seeping through doors at the back of the building. This is despite precautionary measures being taken to stack up sand bags at all entrances.
“This is nothing new, so we had our sand bags prepared. It was helping for a while, but after the waves started to come stronger, we couldn’t do anything else. We had to give up,” Rambarran said.
He added that he had to stand and watch as the water rose to about three feet in height. Rambarran’s entire property was under water. Guests even had to be refunded their monies and booked elsewhere.
Rambarran also told Kaieteur News that soon enough, he might be prompted to erect a wall around his property in an effort to keep the waters out.
Also flooded was a Ministry of Health building, east of the Ocean View Hotel. No significant damage was reported.
Homes and businesses facing the seawall were not affected.
Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn yesterday visited the Liliendaal/Pattensen area where persons were deployed to remove mud from the road as well as garbage that came in with the tide.
Engineer attached to the Ministry, Dennis Ramsingh, told Kaieteur News that the spring tide alert, which began on January 8, will conclude today.
Meanwhile, the Hydrometeorological Service in a press statement advised marine operatives and fishermen to avoid going out to sea during this period.
The statement further explained that what occurred on Monday last, was as a result of the frontal system passing through the Atlantic, just north east of the Lesser Antilles. This supported the increase in wind flow/speed resulting in the weather system, coupled with the spring tides which created the type of storm-surging experience.
It was pointed out that although the volume of the swells have decreased, sea conditions remain hazardous and all marine interests are advised to continue to exercise extreme caution as models are suggesting rough and high seas in open waters and along the coast of Guyana until tomorrow. The situation is being monitored.
The confusion began at around 17:00hrs when unusually high waves (authorities say 3.15 metres) began slamming into the sea defence structures. The water was pounding on the seawall for hours. It was reported that given the volume of water that had rushed in, persons called to report a breach in the sea defence, and could not be convinced otherwise.
It was a few hours of panic and confusion with commuters who use the East Coast Demerara public road.
The roadways were flooded, causing police to cordon off from the Celina Resort and reroute traffic from the public road to the Railway Embankment. The conditions caused traffic to stretch for miles.
The flooding affected both the northern and southern carriageways of the East Coast Highway. The northern side of the road was flooded and rendered impassable to traffic. On one occasion the southern carriageway had to be used for vehicles to the city. It was made into a two-way while police tried desperately to control the heavy traffic. After awhile that too was closed to traffic.
Last evening there was more overtopping, but the situation was not as overwhelming as the previous day.