Communities around the world face the regular threat of destructive climatic events including severe flooding. It can damage or destroy homes, belongings and infrastructure, disrupt businesses and people’s livelihoods, and result in loss of life. In 2010, Hurricane Tomas caused flooding in the communities of Marc and Bexon in St. Lucia. The Category 1 hurricane caused an estimated US$336M in damages across Saint Lucia.
The Government of Saint Lucia asked Dillon to conduct a hydraulic assessment and flood risk reduction study for the Cul-de-Sac River basin. The project was expected to strengthen existing, and inform future planned key economic infrastructure to minimize damage from future natural hazard-induced disasters and associated disruption in economic activity.
The flood risk reduction study included:
- Evaluation of the watershed’s climatic, hydrologic and hydraulic conditions
- Development of flood risk mapping
- Preliminary design of preferred flood risk mitigation civil works
- Recommendations for non-structural flood risk mitigation measures
- Stakeholder engagement
- Recommendations for capacity strengthening measures
- Technology transfer training.
Due to the extent of damage across the Caribbean, the name Tomas was later retired by the World Meteorological Organization and will never be used again for an Atlantic hurricane.