Flooding wreaks havoc on island’s roads

Thursday January 08, 2015 Written by Release/CS Published in Weather
Flooding endangered homes, as well as leaving clean-up workers with a formidable task. Flooding endangered homes, as well as leaving clean-up workers with a formidable task.

Road users are being warned to drive with care at numerous locations around Rarotonga where road repairs are being carried out.

Extreme rainfall last weekend wreaked havoc on the island’s roading network, creating deep potholes and washouts.

The deluge also blocked drains and streams, resulting in major flooding in low-lying areas.

Infrastructure Cook Islands’ acting director for Civil Works, Paul Maoate says the flooding was the result of a number of factors including the prolonged periods of heavy rain, poor stream and drainage upkeep, high tides and insufficient and poorly designed drains.

“The flood waters flowed along and across main roads around the island and higher than normal groundwater rising under the road seal, combined with traffic movement, meant the road surface easily failed, causing potholes.”

Maoate says the road crew had to work hard over the weekend to ensure that the potholes were repaired.

“However this work was limited to spreading and compacting aggregate at pothole locations without applying road binder (emulsion). That was because the presence of water meant emulsion couldn’t achieve full bond.

“Potholing repairs were carried out all around Rarotonga, with work starting from Nikao Village going clockwise.

“Tupapa had some very deep potholes near the Tupapa meeting house and the bend opposite Papa Dan Kamana's residence. Ngatangiia especially Muri - Aroko also required pothole repairs.”

As remedial work continues, Maoate advises people to drive with caution, especially in areas where potholes have recently been repaired.

“Drive within the speed limit, drive with common sense and reduce your speed if you can see the road is not OK. And be considerate of others.” 

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