Newlands MLA and Opposition Deputy Leader, Alva Suckoo, has established a What’s App group for anyone who wants to share and get information on the impending ‘king tides’ that are higher than normal tidal surges due to hit Grand Cayman in the coming days. As MLA for an area of Grand Cayman that has the potential to be impacted by these impending high tides, Mr Suckoo has taken this step to help people in his constituency get better informed as to this naturally occurring phenomenon.
Last week the Department of Environment asked for information from affected residents, stating that although these high tides were not normally a cause for worry, given Cayman’s low-lying topography and rising sea levels associated with global climate change, they were keen to begin to better understand potential impacts resulting from these events. Depending on the location of the sun and moon relative to the Earth at the time, tides may rise just a few inches to a couple of feet above normal, the DoE said.
Mr Suckoo hoped that the information disseminated via the What’s App group could be used by the DOE to address the growing concerns related to the unusually high tides and flooding of low-lying areas.
Work has already begun to try and mitigate against the anticipated high tides, which are due mid-January and again in early to mid-February, coinciding with full moons in those months.
The Newlands MLA said he had requested the assistance of Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Joseph Hew to address sea water inundation in his constituency, and was grateful that some proactive work, such as road resurfacing and heightening, was done in 2019 which had alleviated some of the flooding concerns for the time being. But he remained concerned that while his constituents had been given temporary relief, the problem would persist or worsen as global sea levels continued to rise.
“This is not a local problem and I have no doubt that rising sea-levels has played a significant role in making this problem worse, and if the trend continues, we need to be proactive and find ways to address the problem, because it is impacting properties in the area,” he stated, adding that he was grateful that the DOE was taking the problem seriously and that they were taking proactive steps to try and find ways to deal with the issue.
Mr Suckoo said he was inviting everyone living in coastal low-lying areas, not just those in Newlands, to join the group and share whatever information they could when the tides were impacting them, so that the DOE could make proper assessments and propose solutions based on real data.
To join the group residents can visit Mr Suckoo’s Facebook and Instagram Pages where a link will be provided.
Members of the DOE will also be added to the group and Mr Suckoo is suggesting that residents post pictures and videos taken in affected areas, along with the date, time and location.
Encouraging anyone affected to join, he said, “Reliable data related to this problem is very much needed and I am encouraging everyone to participate so that the DOE can progress their work armed with this information.”
Interested persons can join the WhatsApp group “King Tide Information” using the following link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/L0mrbiXQ8J3EbtSgysVQCq