Dry run

Broken main forces business closures

Many City businesses were forced to close early today because of a lack of water following the rupture of a 15-inch main on Roebuck Street, where major work as part of the Barbados Water Authority’s mains replacement project is underway.

The most affected areas included Roebuck Street, Country Road, Passage Road, Whitepark Road and surrounding areas.

BWA pipe-laying project on Roebuck Street, The City.
BWA pipe-laying project on Roebuck Street, The City.

From just after 1 p.m. many businesses closed for the day, especially food establishments which were visited by health inspectors to see if they were able to comply with public health standards.

The BWA’s corporate communications specialist Joy Ann Haigh told Barbados TODAY the BWA was working around the clock to ensure the problem was fixed. However, she was unable to give a definite time as to when the water would be back on.

“A 15 inch main is a large one so it will take a while to fix,” she explained.  “We are aware of the challenges and we are doing all we can to get it fixed as soon as possible.”

“We have notified the chief health officer and we spoke to the businesses to assure them of this, and tankers have already been dispatched to the affected areas,” she added.

The water outage also caused the magistrates courts on Coleridge Street to close early. Cases which were down for hearing were rescheduled to tomorrow.

Vendors in the Palmetto Mall and Market were also affected, much to their dismay. Speaking to Barbados TODAY one vendor, Anderson Gaskin, said the mall had running water all day so he was unsure why authorities closed the mall.

“There wasn’t really any outage here. It was only the morning time that the water wasn’t really on so when 1 p.m they told us to come out the mall because they were closing it and it’s a Government mall,” he said.

“I figure it should have stayed open as it’s a Friday and people are desperate to make money after a whole week working and not making much money,” added Gaskin, pointing to a bucket of water he caught from inside the mall.

One shop owner on Swan Street who did not want to be identified said she decided to keep her store open because Friday was their busiest day and they did not have to directly use water.

Many other businesses remained open and the capital, Bridgetown, was a buzz of activity well into the evening.

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