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Impact of Hurrican Lennie On St. Lucia's West Coast

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November 24, 1999

BACKGROUND

Hurricane Lenny began to affect the Lesser Antilles early on the morning of November 17. Although hurricane or tropical storm conditions were not expected to affect St Lucia, storm surge and heavy waves pounded the west coast of St Lucia over the course of November 17, and into November 18, 1999. Hurricane Lenny was unique in that it approached the island chain from the west, and severely affected over an unusually extensive period, the island's normally sheltered west coast.

Development on the west coast of St Lucia has been predominantly in the low lying coastal areas, and there is a mixture of residential, institutional, commercial and touristic land uses within the coastal zone. As a result, all these sectors and their supporting infrastructure have been affected by the passage of Hurricane Lenny.

This document summarizes the assessment at November 22, 1999 of the gross impacts and anticipated recovery costs in the hardest hit communities of Soufriere, Gros Islet and Choiseul, as well as those in Anse La Raye and Canaries and focuses primarily on the effects on residential and institutional structures and on infrastructure. The three communities of Soufriere, Gros Islet and Choiseul in particular suffered severe coastal erosion, flattened buildings, and scouring of walls and structures in the areas of impact.

DAMAGE INCURRED IN SOUFRIERE, GROS ISLET, CHOISEUL, CANARIES AND ANSE LA RAYE.

Damage assessment particulars and recovery cost estimates for Soufriere, Choiseul, Gros Islet, Canaries and Anse La Raye are summarized in Tables 1,2,3,4 and 5 respectively.

In addition, the Fisheries Dept's preliminary estimated cost of damage to canoes and other fishing equipment in the communities of Anse La Raye, Canaries, Soufriere, Choiseul, River Doree and Roseau is $276,900. Damage to fish pots has not been assessed. An assessment of damage to coral and other marine ecosystems, and to fisheries infrastructure will be undertaken as soon as technically feasible.

Total costs are summarized in Table 6.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS

The town of Soufriere is located on the south west coast of St Lucia, and depends largely on tourism and agriculture. This community was the worst affected by the passage of Hurricane Lenny.

The town of Gros Islet on the north west coast, is a fishing village, also heavily reliant on the tourist trade.

The village of Choiseul, also located on the south west coast of St Lucia, is a fishing and agricultural community.

The other affected communities rely primarily on fisheries.

The damage wrought by Hurricane Lenny in Baron's Drive and Coin de Lance, Soufriere reinforces our recognition that consideration must be given to reducing the effects of such natural hazards in the future by avoiding hazardous areas, and/or building to standards sufficient to withstand the effects of the anticipated hazards. The affected households in Baron's Drive are predominantly low income, and the overall impact on their incomes will be severe, particularly as the likelihood of their having adequate property insurance is negligible. Government had previously realized the need to relocate the entire squatter community of Baron's Drive. This is a deprived neighbourhood comprising some 100 homes in poor condition. As noted in Table 1, some 53 houses in Baron's Drive have been damaged, many beyond repair. Rather than assist the most severely affected residents, numbering approximately 200, to rebuild in Baron's Drive, a vulnerable and therefore unsuitable location, that they will in the short to medium term be required to vacate, there is a need to relocate them permanently out of the area.

Government had conducted a socio-economic assessment of the 42 affected families, that will inform its relocation plan. Relocation sites have been identified, and Government has mobilized surveyors to undertake the necessary surveys in advance of acquisition.

FINANCING

Unfortunately, the Government has fully committed its disaster response contingency funds to the Black Mallet Landslide Response over the last month. The Caribbean Development Bank has already been approached to further assist the government with an Emergency Response Loan for the Black Mallet Response.

While Government has already commenced cleaning up and reinstatement of utilities and infrastructure, assistance must be sought from other agencies, to support the Government's relief efforts, particularly in the Soufriere, Gros Islet and Choiseul communities.

TABLE 1: SOUFRIERE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PARTICULARS

Item

Description

Cost (EC$)

Sub-Total (EC$)

Damaged Houses

(Baron's Drive)

21 concrete blockwork structure av. Size 600 sq ft

32 timber structure ave. Size 400 sq ft

Land for relocation

 

2,700,000

800,000

 

3,500,000

Institutional

Buildings

Post Office

Police Station

Meat Market

40,000

20,000

60,000

 

 

120,000

Road

Damage to sea wall (1800 sq ft)

Slope protection along sea wall

Road surface and culvert completely damaged

1,100,000

1,400,000

400,000

 

 

2,900,00

Fish market

Building completely damaged

Fishermen's pump station pumps completely damaged

Jetty completely damaged

 

600,000

100,000

 

 

700,000

Craft market

Seaside raft completely damaged with building sloping

toward the sea

Building will have to be demolished (2400 sq ft)

Retaining/sea wall (150 feet) completely damaged

 

 

630,000

83,000

 

 

 

713,000

Soufriere

Foundation/

Jetty

Two piles bent and several piles obviously destroyed; the

figure provided assumes complete reconstruction required;

this is to be verified by underwater investigation

 

 

1,500,000

 

 

1,500,000

Soufriere waterfront

Clearing/cleaning of

adjacent ravines

and drains

Average 3.0 feet of sand deposited.

Gas station structure and pumps completely destroyed.

Landscaping completely damaged.

Balustrade damaged

17 commercial outlets inundated with water and up to 3.0

feet of sand.

Waterfront cleaning required (debris from damaged houses

And sand from sea)

Soufriere sea wall and slope protection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75,000

175,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75,000

175,000

Soufriere

Foundation/Helipad

Completely destroyed

30,000

30,000

Utilities

Electricity

Water

Telephone

30,000

101,000

50,000

 

 

181,000

Malgretoute Road

Reinstatement of road to Malgretoute (inclusive of retaining structures)

 

1,600,000

 

1,600,000

TOTAL

   

11,489,000

TABLE 2: CHOISEUL DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PARTICULARS

Item

Description

Cost (EC$)

Sub-Total (EC$)

Dierre Lagoon

17 houses average size 20' x 16' damaged

7 timber structures

submerged with water, sand and boulders, swept off their

foundations

Furniture and appliances destroyed

Repair costs

Relocation site cost (optional); 60,000 sq ft including

infrastructure

 

 

 

 

 

35,000

 

340,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

375,000

Village main street

14" of sand, boulders and debris over 300' x 16' area

Damage to 4 boats

Damage to fish pots, etc

Damage to 10 ton roller

40,000

20,000

10,000

10,000

 

 

 

80,000

Improvement to sea

defences (optional)

Raising of walls in Dierre Lagoon (600')

New wall in village (750')

60,000

300,000

 

360,000

Clean up

Sand and debris to be cleared

17,000

17,000

Beach erosion

nourishment

120,000

120,000

TOTAL

   

952,000

TABLE 3: GROS ISLET DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PARTICULARS

Item

Description

Cost (EC$)

Sub-Total (EC$)

Bay Street

Reinstatement to include backfill and road

surfacing of 220 m of road;

Construction of a sea wall with

slope protection required

500,000

 

433,000

435,000

 

 

 

1,368,000

Marina slope protection

Slope at marina entrance to be protected

50,000

50,000

Public Structures

The following buildings completely washed away:

Food market

Meat Market/Abattoir

The following partially damaged:

Fish Market

Public Library

 

 

 

 

 

400,000

 

 

 

 

 

400,000

Residences

Damage to residences on the waterfront to be repaired

50,000

50,000

TOTAL

   

1,868,000

TABLE 4: CANARIES DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PARTICULARS

Item

Description

Cost (EC$)

Sub-Total

(EC$)

Jetty

Reconstruction

300,000

300,000

Sand deposits

Clean up

3,000

3,000

TOTAL

   

303,000

TABLE 5: ANSE LA RAYE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PARTICULARS

Item

Description

Cost (EC$)

Sub-Total (EC$)

Sea wall

Construction of sea wall and groyne field is required

2,000,000

2,000,000

Sand deposits

Clean up

6,000

6,000

TOTAL

   

2,006,000

TABLE 6: SUMMARY OF DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PARTICULARS

Community/Sector Affected

Total Cost (EC$)

Soufriere

11,489,000

Choiseul

952,000

Gros Islet

1,868,000

Canaries

303,000

Anse La Raye

2,006,000

Fisheries

276,900

TOTAL

16,894,900

 

 

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