Authorities dredge Melville Hall River in light of flooding

The Melville Hall River flooded the airport in March
The Melville Hall River flooded the airport in March

With the 2016 Hurricane Season looming and with flood waters hampering operations at the Douglas Charles Airport recently, a project has been undertaken to dredge the Melville Hall River.

On March 15, flood waters from the river, unleashed by heavy rains, invaded the airport putting a hold on operations at the facility.

Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASP) Benoit Bardouille said with the Hurricane Season on everybody’s mind, mitigating measures are being put in place to avoid further flooding.

“We have works being done on the dredging of the river, that is being done because we had the unfortunate situation on March 15 where we had the flooding which hampered some people’s travel for the day,” he said on a DASPA radio program. “We are preparing because everybody’s mind now is tuned to the Hurricane Season in which start in June and so we are trying to undertake as much mitigating measures.”

He pointed out that the project is expected to be completed ‘some time in June’ but there is a lot of pressure because of unfavorable weather.

“We are hoping that if things step up we can actually get our result in June … clearly there is a lot of pressure because the weather has not been very favorable of late in terms of the high volume of rainfall but we certainly want to ensure the project is completed,” Bardouille said.

He pointed out that part of the project includes the construction of a four-foot wall that was broken and there is also a rock armour defence mechanism being placed against the river walls.

“So that too will help,” he noted.

Bardouille stated that work is expected to continue with further dredging downstream from the airport.

“Work on dredging is to continue further downstream to ensure that we do not have any other serious issues as it relates to flooding or damage to the airport compound,” he said.


Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of Inc. All comments are approved by before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. DomiChina
    April 18, 2016

    Dredging will work, but not just the Melville Hall river needs dredging; most of our rivers need that, since for many, many years they have been filling up with sediments.

    The River needs its depth and without the depth, it overflows its bank.

  2. Katia
    April 18, 2016

    Could be by d river or d sea one way or another dat airport hav to sink..dominicans feastin on corruption
    An nt steppin up there level of assertiveness to get shit done..why are dominicans so content without any major help frm the government..i thought it was OUR government why is it we stand an watch individuals corrupt all what we were taught in school an are sending our kids to learn be contradicted an manipulated?

  3. Humble servant
    April 18, 2016

    Considering the amazing advances in Civil Engineering that are being utilized around the world, how is it not possible to protect the major Airport in Dominica from the occasional overflow of the Melville Hall river?

    One is left to conclude that between Hurricane David in 1979, and the most recent devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erica, the protection of the nations major airport has not been given the priority status that it clearly demands. BOTH THE CURRENT AND PREVIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS ON THE BEAUTIFUL ISLE OF DOMINICA HAVE FAILED IN THAT REGARD.
    Granted it would take a sizable sum of money and / or in-kind contributions to undertake a project of that magnitude especially in Dominic, but in a world where artificial rivers are being created, to move water from places of abundance to dryer parts, surely the airport can be defended against the periodic overflow of the river with sufficient long- term planning. Where is the required resolve when it really matters?

  4. April 18, 2016

    Well ,well well Dominicans remains a bunch of idiots dam if you do dam if you dont. ignorant blassire.

  5. lmckoy
    April 16, 2016

    Dredging may or may not resolve the problem. Knowing the area and looking at the picture of the river in spate, it appears the water level has risen because the water cannot run off into the sea fast enough. Solution lies in determining what is causing this flow restriction and dealing with this cause; is it the size of the channel, obstructions, the slope of the river bed, the elevation of the area relative to the sea level or a combination of these factors? It’s only by understanding the causes that a suitable solution can be found. In addition, in areas where the elevation of surrounding land is close to the level of the sea, dredging can make the problem worse by causing the sea water to flow further upstream, especially in periods of high tide during heavy rain.

    April 16, 2016

    O.k with al that water form the river and sea, in and around the airport. Why don’t we go back to using the sea planes like year ago :mrgreen:

  7. NAYAH
    April 15, 2016

    “GB” what are you talking about an international airport? They’re planning on dredging the river. Where do you want them to build the international airport? Please answer my question?

    • A
      April 15, 2016

      election promises boy wake up.

    • FORKIT
      April 18, 2016

      so idiot you saying you are not aware that the property was already paid for by the previous government…. all they had to do was continue with the plans and build the damn airport, instead you build stadium…
      i should just say they put the cart before the horse..poor planning waste of time corrupt ministers

  8. dissident
    April 15, 2016

    But I tired ask……..I don’t recall seeing in the news WHO IS THE CONTRACTOR THAT GOT THE JOB TO DO WORK AT THE AIRPORT?


    • FORKIT
      April 18, 2016

      george or chris

  9. lolol boy them man not easy..,.so now mr bad-will.when are you all going to address the issue of flights out of Dominica???? Have u looked at the liat flight schedule lately???? what happen to the 8 million we gave them it finish and they need another 8 or ready to leave this place no progress and I feel like u all have kidnapped with the current flight situation..

  10. AAGabriel
    April 15, 2016

    We’ll find out in due course what all your patching up is going to achieve. He have not got much hope.

  11. GB
    April 15, 2016

    Hmmmmm. Okay then. But the river will take back its rightful place regardless so I really hope those are just short term plans, and that proper measures for long term is being considered I.e an international airport in a safer area.

    • smdh
      April 18, 2016

      we dont think long term here.

  12. April 15, 2016

    Good idea Mr.Bardouille, however I believe that the height defense walls should be extended by atleast another 5 to 10ft. That would compliment the dredging and further improve the overall defense mechanisms.

  13. April 15, 2016

    Dredge the river, dredge it deep. June is coming, do not sleep. Avoid the floods, keep them at bay. Secure the Airport, right away. Watch the weather, study the moon. Our P.M. needs to fly out soon! Off to Macau, and Dubai. Dredge! Our P.M. needs to fly! Passport buyers cannot wait. Dredge the place for goodness sake! We need the money for the N.E.P.! Dredge for my P.M., not for me! Dredge go up, then dredge go down. Airport now, later for town. Roseau river don’t need squat. The Bajans are coming to deal with that. Concentrate on Melville Hall, and dredge it quick. Don’t allow my P.M. to miss a trip! My P.M. can’t afford to arrive late…to the United Arab Emirates! These rich Arabs want to supply, more hotels and hospitals in the sky! So dredge the river it’s only right, for my P.M to NEVER miss a flight. And when you’re dredging keep in mind, you must report everything you find. Don’t take crayfish, don’t take crabs. People might just lose their jobs…

    • Just Me
      April 15, 2016

      I absolutely love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • FORKIT
      April 18, 2016

      lol, patent that

  14. Anthony P. Ismael
    April 15, 2016

    Blah, Blah, Blah. How many more millions will be spent this time around?

  15. smdh
    April 15, 2016

    more problems waiting to happen. dredging means easier flow of water. They would have to dredge all the way to the sea which means all behind the runway to prevent flooding. not just one little section

    • Tetcal
      April 16, 2016

      The plan is to dredge the sea too, so the water will flow far out to sea

  16. Floridian Diaspora
    April 15, 2016

    So because the hurricane season is fast approaching they’re deciding to do some dredging? In other words if there was no hurricane season they would have put this on the backburner for years. This is the LABOR WAY of doing things, waiting for something bad to happen first before they make a move on something they should have fixed as soon as the problem initiated. They only decided to dredge the river because of the flooding that happened there last month through which the flood waters appeared to have swept away the ATM machine and various electronics. I was on the island last month. I was told that my flight was in coming by a Liat representative yelling from across the room. No audio system. How embarrassing can that be? By the way it’s not only the river that needs dredging because of the approaching hurricane season, all the damage that Erika has done that has remained untouched and unfixed by this worthless bunch in power needs to be addressed before it’s too late

  17. Pedro
    April 15, 2016

    Glad to know this has gotten the attention it deserves in terms of prioritization, but honestly some people are sleeping at the wheel. It is easy to relax after the storm is gone. But we at least knew after the storm that the airport would have been very prone to a repeat disaster so the least that could have been done would have been to erect notices around the airport;taking precautionary measures; paying close attention to the weather; and communicating more effectively. Instead we got caught with our pants down again in March; airport users were frantic! We have to be mindful to pay attention to risks that are known already. Risk mitigation has to get more priority.. It is unfortunate that it had to take a recent rainfall incident to push things forward. Work should have started earlier this year as a national priority! Lets hope we can get it done before June, but knowing how things go in DA (not to mention the weather) probably not.

  18. April 15, 2016

    If the work is going on that’s very good but will the people of Marigot/Wesley let us know if it’s true.

  19. Roseau River
    April 15, 2016

    Can DNO provide a rendering of what the Melville Hall river will look like once the project is completed?

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available