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Government Officials Assessing Rain Damage

Oct. 11, 2005 – The Division of Environmental Protection is evaluating the initial environmental impact of the recent heavy rains.
Dean C, Plaskett, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, pointed out several areas of concern in a press release Tuesday.
The public sewer system is experiencing difficulty in pumping the excessive flows caused by heavy rainfall. The Figtree and LBJ Pump Stations are operating on back up systems and are not currently bypassing.
The Environmental Protection Division has received reports that several low-lying manholes in the Christiansted area are hydraulically overloaded. In the Gallows Bay area and at the base of King Cross Street in Christiansted manhole covers are being pushed open. This presents a serious hazard to drivers and pedestrians, as the open manholes are not visible through the flooding on the streets.
Plaskett advised the public not to use the waters throughout the territory and particularly in Christiansted from the Wharf to Golden Rock until problems are corrected. This includes activities such as fishing and bathing. DPNR is also advising parents to instruct their children to keep away from the above-mentioned areas and its impacted beaches as well as areas with manholes and storm water flooding.
Storm-water runoff has an increased concentration of bacteria and may also contain other contaminants harmful to human health. For additional information regarding water quality call 773-10S2 in St. Croix.
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