Authorities tackle flooding at Douglas Charles Airport terminal

Flooding at the airport in March 2017

CEO of the Dominica Airport and Sea Port Authority (DASPA), Benoit Bardouille, has revealed that work is ongoing at the Douglas Charles Airport that aims to mitigate the impact of a possible flooding similar or greater to that of Tropical Storm Erika.

Bardouille said that the issue of airport floods has been on the table for a while now because of the intricate engineering design with regard to hydrology.

“One of the things I have heard, and in the past, is that we have has some flooding in relations to the overflow of the drains. That has been something we have been talking about for some time because of the engineering design, in terms of the hydrology within the area,” Bardouille stated.

According to him, the government is ensuring that all processes are set in place to avoid future damage.

“The Ministry of Works has a hydrologist working in relation to the river, and we are trying our best to really ensure that the scientific processes can be put in place so that we do not suffer the same fate,” he said.

He also noted that the airport is being designed now and will soon be followed by works to tackle that issue of flooding.

“I think in relation to the airport, you will see that it is being designed now but more works are being done to avoid the flooding in front of the terminal,” Bardouille stated.

He said that “significant progress” has been made thus far, and as of next weekend, one aspect of reconstruction will be completed.

“You will see that we have made significant progress. We have had some delays due to weather, but as of next weekend I can say to you assuredly that we would have finished the taxiway and the apron, and we will be opening that very shortly thereafter so that aircraft can utilize it,” he said.

According to him, there is “definite progress” in construction, and work has already started on roads within close proximity to the airport.

“Work has started on the Wesley/Woodford Hill end connecting to Marigot; that road that was broken during Erika. It is in a progress state now and we are hoping that the contractors are going to do that. We know we are approaching the hurricane season, so a lot of effort is going into that to make sure we can complete certain works before then,” Bradouille remarked.

As stated by him, the type of work being done now is qualitative, and efforts are being made to avoid short cuts and give solid solutions to the issue.

“One of the things we are trying to do is eliminate the shortcuts and those things where if you are going to get the same Erika with the same volume of water, you do not want to have the same thing repeated. That’s why I think a lot of efforts, and thanks to the engineers in the Ministry of Public Works, and the Minister for Public Works, and the Ministry of Finance for making the financing available,” Bardouille remarked.

The airport was severely flooded during the passage of Erika in 2015. It again suffered flooding in March 2016 and March 2017.

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  1. south.
    June 8, 2017

    Again. that’s a shame uwp was right. after almost 18 years?

    June 8, 2017

    Mr. “Badwill”, what the hell is wrong with you? Or did the reporter misquote you? “I think in relation to the airport, you will see that it is being designed NOW..” (emphasis mine). What do you mean by the airport being “designed” now? I thought the airport was designed from the inception but I stand corrected. And you attempting to avoid SHORTCUTS? Are you implying that there were shortcuts during the initial “improvements” phase? Why are you so hardheaded? We have so much money now that we can continue to burn it? Please sir, stop this wastage of money and start the construction of the international airport on the lands already purchased at LONDONDERRY.

  3. Anthony P. Ismael
    June 8, 2017

    If one has any love and concern for country and they read this crap, they realize just where we are. Simple things can’t get done right. This is the essence of failure.

    • Tony
      June 8, 2017

      To: Anthony P. Ismael

      Hello and good evening my people . Well I have said on a number of occasions that our number one export is our educated citizens. Ninety Nine percent of our educated citizens resides outside of Dominica and our Government don’t make any effort to reach out to us. This flooding issue can be solve by diverting most of the water from the Marigot River into the Londonderry River,dredging the Marigot River by the airport and opening the mouth on the River into the sea. They must also put proper drainage on the other side of the Marigot River to prevent the mud from going onto the runway and plant grass to mitigate soil erosion .

      • Anthony P. Ismael
        June 9, 2017

        I get that. My question is this: Why was such a poor design chosen in the first place, when all and sundry understand that you do not place an airport in the immediate path of a river. This decision just boggles the mind. We also have our own engineers on the ground as well.

      • Tony, there is no way more water can be diverted into the Londonderry River. Remember the Londonderry, and Melville Hall River is one of the same. They are from the same source, and divide at a place called Corner River in the geographic location of La Quar: In English “The Cross.” (You know I doh is patios man eh!)

        It flows as one river, until it splits precisely like a “V”. Even if you Build a Dam, diverting all of the Water to Londonderry, it will make matters worst. Because all of the Londonderry Estate and the Airport will still get flooded out. All that stretch of Road from the Londonderry Bridge, heading towards the Airport, we call Broad Road for more than a mile and a half will be flooded, and perhaps the water might never recede.

        Tony, I grew up less than half of a mile from the Londonderry River, and as a young kid saw the fury of both rivers while flooding, believe it or not; both rivers do have the potential to overwhelm their banks, and the bridges whenever it…

      • Cont/Finally:

        Tony, I grew up less than half of a mile from the Londonderry River, and as a young kid saw the fury of both rivers while flooding, believe it or not; both rivers do have the potential to overwhelm their banks, and the bridges whenever it is flood time in those two areas.

        The only resolve is to build an Airport some other place in the country. There are certain things which just cannot be change, some things when we try to change them, we make matters worst, what you are suggesting can cause a lot of damage from the place called Turning Hill near the Secondary School, and South to the Melville Hall Airport turning the whole area into a huge forever swamp, hence,many thousands archers of farm land, and residential land will be lost under water!

  4. Anthony P. Ismael
    June 8, 2017

    “Bardouille said that the issue of airport floods has been on the table for a while now because of the intricate engineering design with regard to hydrology.” This statement was written by a dunce. In a nutshell, who situates an airport in the mouth of the raging Marigot River? It seems pretty simple to me.

  5. hmmm
    June 8, 2017

    i’m not an engineer but i can see that this short wall is nothing for high water.

    June 8, 2017

    Thes problem started when foreigners started coming in to do these road works. these people do not know Dominica and water, rainfall. They are not accustom of working with water.. I remember when the public works would clean the culverts and drains before the rainy season to allow the water to flow these thing are not done anymore. Every village would have someone with their wheelbarrow. These days are gone.These engineers need to understand you do not mess with Dominica waterways. Passing under the Tarreau Cliff was my nightmare going to school in town for 5 yrs. I dreaded the rainy seasons.

    • Any way
      June 8, 2017

      True !

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      June 9, 2017

      We also have our own engineers from Ministry of Communication and Works who are also part of these projects. On second thought we do not. We got a bunch of “Dunce Cats” who serve no meaningful purpose, except to collect a check each month and live the good life.

      • Dominican
        June 9, 2017

        Anthony, you are right. It are our govt. dept’s that oversee such works and sign off on them in order to the contractors to get paid. We ourselves (Dominica) are ultimately responsible for shoddy workmanship and poor design.

    June 8, 2017

    Just another “Normal Day” at the douglas charles airport :mrgreen: of flooding that is

  8. Fly on the wall
    June 8, 2017

    Bardouille you and Skerrit must go

  9. Real truth
    June 7, 2017

    Ok. Here is some free engineering advice to solve all Dominicas airport problems etc.
    Elevate the existing airport site, access roads , taxi way or landing strip , 40 to 50 feet or more above current site with concrete and steel construction… That way we could lengthen the runway for international aircraft, the access roads along sea wall is eliminated, the river could go where it wants, hotel could be built on purchased land surrounding airport for overnight travelers …….. Just my final two cents on the airport issues..
    If only politics was kept out of this matter……..
    Ps, ….. I didn’t give complete details on how to do a project like this…….

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      June 8, 2017

      This advice is way too sound for Skerrit and his team of “Dunce Cats.”

    • Me
      June 8, 2017

      You obviously don’t live here!

      • Anthony P. Ismael
        June 8, 2017

        I am 100% Dominican! I know the Marigot area quite well. I also know that you do not build structures in a known flood plain and spend millions upon millions of dollars to repair such infrastructure. This by far, is the most incompetent and dumbest idea ever. How could engineers in the Ministry of Communication and Works sit idly by and watch this transpire. By the government’s account, some 150 million dollars has been spent on Charles Douglas and where are we today in terms of reliable air access? Forget international airport how about simple reliable air access? Nowhere.

  10. TimTim
    June 7, 2017

    They dere building wall on the other side of the river on the farmers side blocking the farmers and land owners on that side access to the river. Without any notice or consultation eh. And we expect when the river swell, for the new wall to direct water right into farms on that side flooding them. these people just wicked and useless.

  11. Dominican
    June 7, 2017

    To my untrained eye the piece of roadway in front of the terminal is lower than the entrance road to the airport so water can not drain from there when the river is higher than that road. I could be wriong but that is how it appears to me. Constructing the car park only made it worse by blocking water from drarining like it could before when it was an open, low lying piece of land. Bad design overall.

  12. Tj
    June 7, 2017

    I will maintain that the airport shoul be moved and a runway to accommodate long range flights will be the answer for DA

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      June 8, 2017

      We do not deserve competence and ease of travel. We certainly do not deserve an international airport either. :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P

  13. %
    June 7, 2017

    Every election cycle Skerrit gathers his fools at Lagon,bring in bus loads of”Clappers,ie people to cheer his lies”,then he tells them about an international airport.He did it in 20004,2009,2014.Dominica should have thre
    e international airports presently..He must be planning the same thing soon…Dominicas retrogression under this highly inept leader is glaring:high unemployment,a dead agriculture industry,half dead tourism industry,dead institutions.
    In the meantime StVincent just opened its international airport.Ask Skerrit whay Gonzales told him some years ago!

  14. Mahaut
    June 7, 2017

    Only time will tell when a country don’t have the right people it can’t move forward ,making walls can’t stop the river giving contract to friends and not the right company. You need engineers not labourers 17 years daddy’s skirooo can’t delivered talk talk talk every election but the people are so slow and uneducated only time can tell

  15. Same old Same old
    June 7, 2017

    “He also noted that the airport is being designed now and will soon be followed by works to tackle that issue of flooding”
    “I think in relation to the airport, you will see that it is being designed now but more works are being done to avoid the flooding in front of the terminal,” Bardouille stated.

    What we are hearing today exposes the propaganda and gimmicks agenda of the Skerrit DLP administration. First, why is Bardouille the one pushing Skerrit’s agenda? Why not Skerrit himself or the minister responsible? Is Badwill the minister? Secondly, which airport is he referring to that is being designed? He CANNOT be referring to the same Douglas Charles Airport, though based on the contextual statement it appears that he is referring to the present airport. Thirdly, why would they spend so much money on the existing airport when last month Skerrit told students that he going to build a new airport? You see the lies, the propaganda, the gimmicks of the DLP? No wonder they used…

  16. My Little Take
    June 7, 2017

    Badwill is just confirming that we once again did not get value for money as is the case with all projects Skerrit put his hand into. Right now they can do what they want to get a temporary fix but there is no fix. It’s a bad work and we will continue to pay for that.

  17. Very good; I enjoy it every year when I see that place is flooded out! It shall be a nightmare in Roosevelt Skerrit dreams. It does not matter how much money they will spend to correct the flooding issues, it shall continue till the end of time which has no ending.

    Time is infinite; infinity means something which is continuous, it goes on forever without an end! Let that be Roosevelt Skerrit legacy, it will haunt him into his grave, all because of his stupidity!

    The amount of money he spent on Melville Hall Airport could have built two new International Airport somewhere else on the island!

  18. Daniel J Tanner
    June 7, 2017

    They redirected two rivers into one channel. What did they expect? This has nothing to do with some mythological god or climate change. It has to do with stupidity and not using a hydrological engineer in the first place. Stupidity rules in Dominica.

    • “They redirected two rivers into one channel. ”

      I am not doubting you; but, unless there is a third river which they redirected, I need to let you know I am very familiar with all the areas over the Airport, and I can tell you both Londonderry, and the Melville Hall River derives from one branch.

      The place where the river originates is called “River Head! It flows down towards the Airport, and between two or three miles from the West end of the Airport, it divides; the left side becomes Londonderry River, hence the right side is the Melville Hall River.

      In the event the two branches were merged, or redirected, from the source, there would probably be one of the two rivers missing, and that might be the Londonderry river, since the Melville River continues to wreak havoc. Nevertheless, Londonderry river is still flowing into the sea! Be informed nothing can be done to resolve that problem, when I was a kid I saw the river crest over the Melville Hall Bridge!

      June 8, 2017

      Well said, but that is the end results of socialist venezula and Dr Supermo DLP, collaboratioon. a flooded airport. Welcome to the next level :-P

    • June 8, 2017

      Stupidity is on both sides because I don\’t understand why the people of Marigot and Wesley just sit back and allow the Government to just do whatever they want and get away with it , yes they didn\’t have the engineers who knows better tackle the situation before they decided to mess with the rivers, no matter how much patch work they do it will not hold , Melville Hall river is not one to trample with and we are seeing the backlash especially during the hurricane season
      Marigot and Wesley people you got to stand up and demand better from your Government the power is in your hand and don\’t forget it\’s not only the Airport it\’s also about your Hospital lift yourselves out of the sleep and get moving, it\’s not about parties or colors it\’s to every Dominican benefit .

      • Do not shift the blame on the people of Wesley, and Marigot!

        The problem is a Dominica problem which involves the entire nation; in that we keep voting into power one who is very vindictive, and incompetent, who literally victimized the people of Marigot, and Wesley; and even the people of Woodford Hill to a great extent. I know one may ask why the parliamentary representative can’t get anything done.

        So, be informed Gloria Dods (Dodds) Shillingford, daughter of my uncle, and niece of my mother represented our village Wesley, while a minister in Skerrit’s government for five years: nevertheless, she nor anyone in Wesley can show anything which went to Wesley or Woodford Hill during her tenure!

        The only thing I know Gloria gave in Wesley is food; I know that for a fact, she gave my 83 years old sister her cousin Marie my sister some flour, sugar, and I believe some rice, promised her a house, and ultimately gave her one sheet of plywood, and a sheet of galvanized to build…

      • Continue:

        I know that for a fact, she gave my 83 years old sister her cousin Marie my sister some flour, sugar, and I believe some rice. She promised her a house, and ultimately gave her one sheet of plywood, and a sheet of galvanized to build the house.


        And by the way the scraps of what the devil left she gave my sister regarding the perishables, she drives past where my sister lives everyday, but in order put on a show, that Skerrit is feeding my sister, she sent messages to her to come to her office in Wesley to collect the little bit of garbage!

        So, you see even when Wesley people support Skerrit, all he does is urinate is the people’s face! Get rid of Skerrit, let someone else the country may become different!

  19. Emile Dominique
    June 7, 2017

    Make the river bed wider on the bank away from the airport. On the Marigot site.

    • Emile that will not help it will make it worst! The reason it is so bad now is because they dug up the river bed, and move the stones that was on the rive bed. I do not have the time now to go into the science, but right now there is no resolve to the problem at Melville Hall Airport.

    • Let the Truth Be Known - Original
      June 7, 2017

      So, in the event of flooding where will the water go to,, in the Marigot village? Is this what you insinuate?

  20. Malatete
    June 7, 2017

    The problems with the taxiway and apron will soon be two years old and have limited the functioning of the airport. They should have ben fixed as a matter of priority. This was supposed to have been completed in June of last year.
    Fancy words and terms are no substitute for the fact that water always flows to the lowest point and seeks its own path with the least resistance. Clever hydraulic engineering does not change that. What could be done as a temporary solution is to install high- capacity pumps (I suggest 2) with their own independent power supply, which cut in when there is a threat of flooding. Expensive, yes, but cheaper in the long run than having our national airport out of action and severely damaged.

    • Let the Truth Be Known - Original
      June 7, 2017

      I hope the authorities read your apparent wise comment and suggestion and give it due consideration.

  21. Dominica
    June 7, 2017

    Yes We need to move the Air Port. Its costing lost of money in fixing.
    It would best that the Money invest in a new Air port.
    The River is a problem as mention by previous note.

    Its best that we Build an Air port get away from the River
    Please We don’t wants to look foolish in the Caribbean.
    We deserve better.
    as time goes by we need to progress.

    Lets come together for the progress of Dominica


    • Let the Truth Be Known - Original
      June 7, 2017

      This sounds feasible but to where in Dominica?

      • Let the Truth Be Known - Original
        June 7, 2017

        I should also have added, the land of mountains and rivers.

  22. freedom fighter
    June 7, 2017

    Dominica will only see progress, if man like Badwill resign.

    • Let the Truth Be Known - Original
      June 7, 2017

      Who do you plan to replace him? :twisted: :mrgreen: :twisted: :mrgreen: :twisted: :mrgreen:

  23. passqueen
    June 7, 2017

    that airport has been there since is was 0 years old and there was no flooding like that so what is the problem since they say the renovate is flood flood flood what is the problem something not coshar

    • Concern Citizen
      June 7, 2017

      The problem is miles upstream. Since Erica, many landslides couple with large tree trunks have been deposited in the river bed causing daming by little rain which will eventually cause flash floods. Millions going to be spent on renovation and will be lost while a 100k can be spent on mitigation measures upstream to solve the recurring problem. Bless

    • Let the Truth Be Known - Original
      June 7, 2017

      Some Dominicans are not as godly as they should. Note the comments of some.
      In case you have not noticed, there are more disasters today than ever, worldwide. Some people are not as godly as they should, even practicing Christians.

    June 7, 2017

    that is truly a curse on the labour party. idiotys spent the whole night in red praising night landing….

  25. john paul
    June 7, 2017

    yes my brother i would shake your hands we need the international’s about time we did start doing that.

    • Let the Truth Be Known - Original
      June 7, 2017

      Time waits for no one and it flies. Too bad it was not built over 20 years ago. Now, if it is built, it will be another, approximately 20 years before its completion. How many of us will be alive to experience its opening, even its commencement?

  26. Anonymous
    June 7, 2017

    But what is he really saying there nuh Papa God. A set of technical terms that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Mr Badouille do you believe in climate change or do you believe the climate is changing? I suspect your key to solving the flooding problem at the airport lies within your answer. To me you have two choices. 1. You move the river or 2. you move the airport. Go figure.

    • Shaka Zulu
      June 7, 2017

      By reading I could tell this guy does not understand what he is saying. Just because he is in charge of ports does not mean he should come and talk about engineering construction and flood mitigation. Reason why the public is always confused. Smdh. Convoluted rambling. That area is a river flood plain and the airport is an obstruction. The recent upgrades should have considered all that in addition to effects on Flora and funa in the area. The River is going to continue to transport erode and deposit stuff so there is no immediate fix. The ministry better prepare for continuing Long term mitigation. Dredging has to be continuously done to keep drainage channels open. Just my two cents.

  27. DomiChina
    June 7, 2017

    BAD-WHEEL, you have talked about intricate engineering, hydrology, reconstruction, significant work, but you seem to be a very bad wheel in a truck.

    here is the simple solution – dredge the river from about a thousand meters up from the start of the runway toward the sea. this will increase the water intake capacity of the river. then at the start of the dredging working up river, make successive drop falls to reduce the strength of the flood water.
    Go play with a bucket of water and a few bricks like in your boy days to recall the effects.

    or better still

    Build the damn international airport on the land that Eddison James acquired after displacing so many citizens.

      June 7, 2017

      not easy as you explain, three rivers flow into this Marigot river, the Venezuelans diverted the river at the top of the runway and place stones on the banks. we all know Dominica and rainfall, they should never tamper with it…
      when it rains there will always be flooding, one should wonder which Dominican engineer that worked with those Venezuelans to make that messs.

    • Tony
      June 8, 2017

      Hello and good afternoon my people. Well I don’t believed that Mr Bardouille is a Civil Engineer therefore that’s why most of the problem with mitigating the flooding at the Airport is still a problem and he’s not qualify the hold that position. The first problem is that the airport is built in the river bed so when there is heavy rain the river takes it natural route. To stop the flooding of the airport they must divert most of the water from the Melville Hall River into the Londonderry River and they must install proper drainage opposite the Melville Hall River by the airport. With heavy rain the soil erodes and the mud come down and covers the runway.

      • Anthony P. Ismael
        June 8, 2017

        So Tony, how many more millions will be spent on this solution? And that’s the issue here. The decision was terrible in the first place. I really don’t know how Labor is working for Dominica and in the best interest of the people. So each time we have heavy rains, planes may or may not land. Alas. Poor us.

      • Tony the actual Airport is not built in the river bed.

        The problem is the area is simply prone to floods; far west of the Airport is all mountainous, huge rain forest exists; so in the rainy season flooding is mandatory. That has been going on for thousands of years, there is nothing modern technology can do to prevent that!

        When the United States and the allies decided during World War ll to build an Airport in that location, it was intended as something strategic, which would be abandoned after the war. That was the best site at the time.

        However, if in 1958 the British saw it fit to construct an Airport on the site, by now commonsense should dictate it is costing more to keep it at that location than it will if we build a new International Airport which we badly need. I do not know if you remember when the very old Bridge painted red stood over the river, there was no Airport, only guavas, and coconut trees on the site.

        One day we were traveling to Marigot, when we…

      • Finally:

        One day we were traveling to Marigot, when we got to Melville Hall the river crest so high it was almost overflowing the bridge, my grandmother decide not to go on to Marigot, for fear on our return we would not be able to walk across the bride. What is happing there is nothing new, I anticipate the worst!

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