The Grenville Phillips Column – Hero or Villain

I have been repeatedly pressed to declare how well our Prime Minister performed during tropical storm Dorian.  No matter how many times I have responded, the requests keep coming.  To avoid further requests for a comment, my full response follows.

As the storm approached, our Prime Minister: explained the situation, encouraged people to prepare, closed businesses at a reasonably time, attended drainage clearing sites to verify that the work was being done, and did other similarly important things.

Our Prime Minister appeared to do these things in a calm and decisive manner.  She appeared to competently manage the protocols for a tropical storm.  All Barbadians should feel justifiably proud of our Prime Minister’s heroic performance.  So well done Madam Prime Minister.

What needs to be emphasised, is that our Prime Minister’s actions were appropriate for a tropical storm that should do minor damage.  Had we experienced Hurricane Dorian like the Bahamas, then no one, except the most extreme partisan supporters, would be praising Prime Minister (PM) Mottley’s efforts.

Our homes should be our primary shelters.  If the house is not sufficiently strong, then the occupants should move to a stronger shelter.  In 1993, under PM Sandiford, Barbados finally had a building code to inform homeowners and their contractors how to build strong houses.  It was a very easy-to-understand document, and added little to no additional construction cost.

PM Arthur won the general election in 1994.   In 1995, banks in Barbados started offering 100% mortgages, which started a massive residential building boom.  Fortuitously, Barbados had a new Building Code at the right time.  Regrettably, PM Arthur, who was responsible for Town and Country Planning, did not enforce or actively encourage the Code’s use during his 14-year term.

Part of PM Arthur’s real legacy, is the thousands of unnecessarily sub-standard houses that were built during his administration.  PM Stuart continued PM Arthur’s legacy of overseeing the construction of substandard houses, by not enforcing the Building Code.  However, he unpredictably went a lot further – in the wrong direction.

PM Stuart claimed to be flabbergasted at the fragility of houses in Barbados, after the damage done by Tropical Storm Tomas in 2010.  However, even that did not convince him to actively encourage the use of our Building Code.  Instead, his administration abolished it.  Thus, Barbados, in one of the most hazard prone regions on this planet, became the only nation on Earth to offer no meaningful structural building guidance to its residents.

PM Mottley inherited this unfortunate mess, and seemed well prepared to solve it.  She experienced the devastation caused by Hurricane Gilbert in Jamaica in 1988.  She was aware of the two Category 5 Hurricanes that caused major damage to our Caribbean neighbours in 2017.  Following the General Election in 2018, she declared that Hurricanes were one of the two things she fared most.

We seemed to be in good hands – PM Mottley would play the hero.  She would make building strong and durable houses a priority.  Tragically, she has embraced the damaging legacy of PM Stuart.  This should all but ensure that we will suffer a worse fate than those in other islands, if we experience a similar hurricane.  Why someone, who held such promise, chose such an irresponsible path, is a question that only she can answer.

Our PM still has time to play the hero by doing three simple, but highly effective things.  They will cost her administration no money and very little effort.  First, she should temporarily unabolish the 1993 Barbados National Building Code, for use in the residential construction sector only.  We should never abolish something unless we can replace it with something better.

Second, the 1993 Building Code should be published on the Internet and made freely available to residents.  Third, the Town Planning department should add the following standard condition of approval for residential applications.  “Construction should comply with the structural requirements of the 1993 edition of the Barbados National Building Code”.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

173 comments

  • well put together article but it doesnt exactly track. MAM is being praised for her leadership in the face of tropical storm Dorian (and rightfully so) but if it had been a hurricane she would not have?

    man come, Grenville? becos she hasnt seen fit to enforce the building code? man houses built to code get damaged during a hurricane and those board houses we have in Bim will be ripped apart by a good storm. hardly her fault.

    yet she may not have re instituted the building code but how can you blame her for the failure of Arthur, Thompson and Stuart?

    i will say she performed admirably as these sort of events are her forte.

    and yes if she continues to ignore the fact that we need a building code in Bim but man what you have written is a stretch

    Liked by 1 person

  • Would have been more “politically” effective if you had started out with your housing code and finish it with something like

    Although I think PM was effective in preparing the island for the storm, she would be even more effective, for future storm. if she would reestablished (my) housing codes which would add a necessary layer of protection for future and stronger storms and should be the forefront of any (storm/hurricane) preparations.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The question we have to ask is do we need a building code. Is our housing stock compliant with a minimum standard. Is it possible to remove the politics from anything we have to do?

    Liked by 1 person

  • We don’t NEED a building code. It would be wise if we had a building code.

    Did GP2 write the article as a private citizen or as a politician(SB)? The answer will determine if we can leave out the politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  • You prepare for a tropical storm by buying additional food and water. If you do not adequately prepare, then you and your family will be inconvenienced for a few days.

    You prepare for a Category 5 hurricane (the new normal in the Caribbean since 2017) by building well. If you build badly, then you have already condemned your family to utter misery – and that is not a stretch.

    It costs the same to build well as it does to build badly. Actually, it is cheaper to build to the Building Code’s standards than how houses have been built for the past 24 years since the building code was published.

    You do not need any additional concrete blocks, concrete, etc to build well, you just need to assemble them properly. The knowledge to assemble them properly is in the 1993 Building Code, which our politicians discouraged (by wrongly calling it a draft) and then abolished. So people built with no guidance – and built badly, through no fault of their own.

    Since it was the government’s gross negligence that resulted in houses being substandard, then who should be blamed for the foreseen damage? If people choose not to use the Building Code, then the people will have no excuse – they will only have themselves to blame. Currently, PMs Arthur, Stuart, and now Mottley must take all of the blame for the foreseen horrific damage.

    Fortunately, these substandard houses can be economically strengthened. Since the Government irresponsibly facilitated sub-standard construction over the past 24 years, the Government should pay for the strengthening.

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  • Grenville

    It is referred to as draft because it is not law, correct?

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  • Building code don’t make me laugh when we can’t even enforce the movement of a bunch of squatters!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Since the Government irresponsibly facilitated sub-standard construction over the past 24 years, the Government should pay for the strengthening.

    And where is the government going to get this money from?
    Raise taxes on the people?
    Raise taxes on businesses? – will pass it on to the consumers

    Liked by 1 person

  • Once again the collective stupidity and total irresponsibility of the decadent Duopoly has been exposed.

    The Duopoly Rules

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  • Noone can predict how a depression will or will not intensify but we do have years of experience on which to rely.

    The natural motion due to the Coriolis Effect is North.

    Basic principle.

    In the absence of High Pressure areas to the north, a system will track north.

    The worst winds are in northern sector of the system.

    Normally, we will get off even if the system has intensified into a storm.

    However, systems do go south sometimes and we are exposed to the northern sector where the winds are most intense.

    Our location provides us with another advantage.

    Systems more than likely will form close to us and will not intensify to intense hurricanes.

    BUT, not always!!

    Our worst case situation is when a system intensifies into a hurricane far to the east of us with enough time to intensify

    AND

    the system forms in the latitudes from 8 to 11.25 degrees north.

    Building codes are important because we cannot predict if a system will form to the south of us AND if it will intensify to a hurricane AND if it will go south.

    But, most times we will get off … God is a Bajan if you like!!

    Just how He made the world!!

    Janet passed us to the south.

    Its hurricane winds extended a couple of miles inland.

    Loss of life from Janet (35) could have been minimized if buildings had been stronger AND people in the south had moved a couple of miles north AND there had been good advance warning as there is today.

    A more serious hurricane than Janet at our doorstep will however take no prisoners, 1780 (4000+ dead) and 1831 (1000+ dead) are examples!!

    Buildings can be replaced, life can’t.

    The Bahamas were recently hammered by a CAT 5 Hurricane, Dorian.

    There was loss of life, (5 so far)..

    No amount of building codes could have stopped it BUT in the absence of building codes AND in the absence of advance warning loss of life could have been catastrophic … like the loss of infrastructure.

    Dorian also passed us, but as a storm and slightly north.

    While I can’t argue against erring on the side of caution, sometimes it can be mistaken as a cry of wolf.

    … and then we have a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Caribbean is the most endangered region in the world. There is a good reason why that region is made up of micro dots of pin-pointed islands. Bahamas is as flat as a pancake whilst Barbados is relatively flat. A combination of rising sea levels and the movement of mother earth will in time consume the Bahamas. And as for Barbados – it will run out of luck sooner or later.

    I understand that the Bahamas has a high standard for her building codes. Sadly, Barbadians are a complacent bunch. Our geographical location has meant that we have always avoided the worst excesses of tropical storms and hurricanes. This has served as our building code over the years; allied with our faith in God.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations to Grenville for another great contribution to this blog.

    Given the dearth of technical expertise in the region, even among the elites, it is hardly surprising that Barbados operates without a mandatory building code. Our system of democracy aggravates the situation, because the wrong kinds of people hold ultimate power

    Perhaps Grenville can tell us why insurance companies have not stepped into the breach to enforce appropriate standards. Don’t they face catastrophic losses if Nature turns against us?

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  • @Ewart Archer
    September 4, 2019 4:07 AM

    …….Our system of democracy aggravates the situation, because the wrong kinds of people hold ultimate power..(Quote)

    Democracy, old boy, democracy. There is an old saying, youth s wasted on the young.

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  • The Caribbean is the most endangered region in the world.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What about islands like the Dutch Islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao?

    … and Trinidad and Tobago?

    We never hear of them being under the hammer of hurricanes.

    Ask google which islands in the Caribbean are not in the hurricane belt.

    You will be surprised to see Barbados is one!!

    That’s why Ross moved from Dominica … and why St. George’s University is in Grenada.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John September 4, 2019 8:10 AM

    Master John, you should inform the BU ignoramuses why your god ‘created’ hurricanes.

    Is a hurricane one of your Yahweh’s method of punishing wicked people like he did in the story of Noah and the flood?

    What ‘go(o)d’ role do these monsters serve; whether hurricane or cyclone?

    Like Robert Lucas (PhD) you (the jack of all disciplines) must have done ‘A’ level Geography while at HC.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Miller at 8 :41 AM

    Do you not think that the question should be more appropriately directed at your Sun god rather than Yahweh?

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  • Vincent Codrington

    Building codes are merely guidelines aimed at construction of buildings to withstand hurricane force winds to a certain limit. There is no such thing called a hurricane proof building. So building codes give a certain level of comfort. Buildings built to these codes also suffer damages even in categories below their specifications. So yes it is good to take known precautions but there are no guarantees.

    In science,even the so called hard sciences,we deal in probabilities,not certainties. These are facts of life.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants at 9 : 07 AM

    In one of my manifestations as a researcher , I would have loved to have you as a research assistant. I could not help but notice the taxes charged and collected for room and food. I wonder if these taxes reached the Treasury.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John at 12:30 AM

    An excellent summation of the reasons that give credence to the adage that “God is a Bajan”. Location. Location. Location. Your Geography teacher would be proud of you.

    Like

  • e

    Miller
    September 4, 2019 8:41 AM

    @ John September 4, 2019 8:10 AM
    Master John, you should inform the BU ignoramuses why your god ‘created’ hurricanes.
    Is a hurricane one of your Yahweh’s method of punishing wicked people like he did in the story of Noah and the flood?
    What ‘go(o)d’ role do these monsters serve; whether hurricane or cyclone?
    Like Robert Lucas (PhD) you (the jack of all disciplines) must have done ‘A’ level Geography while at HC.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    I figured this would get you going ….

    … and .. actually no, stopped Geography in 2nd form with Lady Adams.

    Isn’t God’s creation wonderful?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hal Austin

    I’m sure you learned along the way (perhaps at the Daily Mail where they say you got most of your education) that there is a distinguished line of political thinkers (the college textbooks usually start with the Greek philosopher Plato) who regard democracy as a degenerate form of government.

    In other words, the criticism of democracy is not new, and not confined to inexperienced youth. (And I am neither young nor inexperienced.)

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  • @ Ewart Archer

    ‘They’ are wrong again. I got most of my education on the streets of the Ivy. Who was Plato? Did he play football for Brazil, or was that Socrates? By the way, what is preferable to democracy?

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  • @ Vincent Codrington September 4, 2019 9:29 AM
    “Do you not think that the question should be more appropriately directed at your Sun god rather than Yahweh?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It depends! If I were living in the Southern Hemisphere I might just blame both Viracocha and ‘Pachamama’ for what can befall the so-called Gilbert & Ellice islands.

    Can you imagine a typhoon called ‘John’ clashing with the Bajan god called Yahweh?
    By Jove, Zeus would be most upset to see how far He has fallen from grace, with no thunderbolts to wreak vengeance on you ‘indecisively’ vacillating puny humans.

    Killer Moses was right for stealing monotheism from the Egyptians. At least John has something to ‘believe in’ even if in a ‘burning bush’.

    Liked by 1 person

  • It is extremely unwise to downplay the importance of (mandatory) building codes, by referring to them as “mere guidelines.”

    Building codes are crucial for safety, quality and energy efficiency. Their value has been most clearly established in regions affected by earthquakes (such as the Caribbean), but they also make a big difference in hurricane zones.

    Haiti lost an estimated 150,000 lives in 2010 to the type of earthquake that claims only about a hundred lives in Japan, because of the rigorous Japanese building codes.

    In Florida, there is a statewide building code to protect against weaker hurricanes, and a stricter code for the Greater Miami Area in South Florida to protect against strong hurricanes. That is how smart people organize their affairs.

    In the Caribbean, we are much too careless about these things.

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  • Hants

    Ferdinand, Gabrielle and tropical depression in mid atlantic should not be a problem.

    The system coming off the African coast we got to watch.

    Probably get to us around mid month.

    Bad time.

    Looks a little far north and could keep going so we might get off.

    There will probably be more.

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  • Does anyone belive that the topsy in the ocean which now serves a purpose for dumping sewage in the sea could have withstand the forces of a cat 5 hurricane

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  • “A tropical wave is forecast to emerge later today over the far eastern tropical Atlantic west of Africa. Environmental conditions are forecast to become mostly conducive for development late this week, and this system has the potential to become a tropical depression over the weekend or early next week while it moves westward to west-northwestward.
    * Formation chance through 48 hours…low…near 0 percent.
    * Formation chance through 5 days…medium…60 percent. ”

    Next week we may have a depression.

    It will probably be half way here.

    It’s latitude will determine if it will get to us.

    No need to consider an Island wide shutdown ……YET!!

    Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

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  • ……That is how smart people organize their affairs.
    In the Caribbean, we are much too careless about these things….(Quote)

    So Caribbean people are not smart?

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  • @ GP2,

    I have family who live in the Bahamas. This extraordinary video clip was taken from a house built on stilts at a height of fifthteen foot. This video could well have been taken from a boat. It is terrifying. The loss of live is going to be a horrendous.

    Is the Bahamas a viable country to live in or should it be abandoned and left in the hands of mother nature.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal Austin

    @Ewart

    Caribbean people are smart. They do arrange their affairs according to the size of their incomes and their assessment of the probabilities of an event occurring or not.Many of these events are outliers for some Caribbean countries as pointed out by John in an earlier submission on this blog. There are thousands of people trying to own a house and who will put building codes and insurance very low on their to do list. We do live in the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Don’t know why we are even bothering to discuss the building code. Who will enforce it? Wait don’t tell me the TPC right. The same TPC that allowed hundreds of illegal houses to be erected by squatters all over the island or another TPC that wunna will form? I know let’s pass 30 new laws and give the TPC to work with surely that will help.

    For God sake wunna wake up and stop living in La La Land where sheep talk and cows fly!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Vincent

    This is where leadership plays an important part. The government has a responsibility to craft policies and laws to force people to protect themselves. Many of us can forgo the aesthetics and constructive functional dwellings. That house TLSN refereed is a case in point , it was built on stilts with water proof type windows, not sure type of roof but a good guess is that the rafters had straps and roof no shingles.

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  • Referencing Winston Churchill: Put two economists in a room, you will get at least two opinions.

    Sometimes three or more.

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  • In fact, Winston Churchill is famous for saying, “If you put two economists in a room, you
    get two opinions unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions.” (Quote)

    Get it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John A

    At least you are living in the real world. We need to build into our interventions a measure of reality including what is actually happening on the ground.

    @ David BU

    The citizens of this country are not in a Kindergarten class in a school. And the Authorities are not the school mistresses. At this stage of our political development we do not need that method of governance. In a democracy they do have choices to exercise according to their abilities. One cannot make bricks without straw. There is the constraint of the where- with – all. We need to be practical.

    I was responding specifically to points in the interventions referenced, not to TLSN’s. You are over stressing this ideology of leadership. Barbados always had leadership and WE STILL DO.

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  • Hal Austin

    Let me break it down for you.

    “Referencing” can mean “taking inspiration from”, “extrapolating from”, “building on the original idea or statement of”.

    This meaning is most commonly found in literary and film criticism, but is not restricted to those domains. For example, a film sequence may reference the presentation style of a distinctive and often-imitated director, like Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut or Michaelangelo Antonioni.

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  • Who are those French names? Are they truffles? Is literary and film criticism political science too? Don’t be impatient, young man. You will grow up in time. Stop trying to be impertinent and learn something. We were all young once..

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  • Clumsy.

    And Antonioni is Italian.

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  • And there I was thinking it was a spaghetti Bolognese. Young man, plse take it from me and cool down. There are people on BU more educated than you would ever be. I come here to learn. Humility is a good virtue. Keep your education, intelligence and qualifications under wraps. Don’t be in a rush to grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mariposa
    September 4, 2019 12:45 PM

    Does anyone belive that the topsy in the ocean which now serves a purpose for dumping sewage in the sea could have withstand the forces of a cat 5 hurricane

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    While anything is possible it is unlikely we will get a CAT 5 hurricane.

    Doesn’t mean a far weaker one could not reak havoc!!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Hal Austin

    You should take your own advice and stop presuming I, or anyone else, needs it.

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  • Getting back to the original theme ie: performance on the job…………. we have become so accustomed to ‘bare minimum service with a scowl’ that when someone (even a PM) carries our their job as expected, we are amazed and begin heaping praise.

    Liked by 2 people

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @David September 3, 2019 9:08 PM “The question we have to ask is do we need a building code. Is our housing stock compliant with a minimum standard.”

    Yes David. We do NEED a building code. Only a fool would think otherwise, and I know that you are no fool.

    How can we know whether our housing stock is compliant with a minimum standards, if we don’t know what those standards are.

    My grandmother lost her father to the hurricane of 1998. I seem to be the only one on this blog who has lost a relative to a hurricane. His 38 year old widow was left with 14 children. including my 12 year old grandmother. Imagine the suffering. My grandmother could never forget, my mother experienced her mother’s suffering, and passed it on to us.

    I did not vote for Solutions Barbados. I don’t hold that party in high regard. But on the need for a building code, and very strict ENFORCEMENT, Grenville is right.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    1898.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    And we can build smaller, but hurricane resistant houses. Am i the only one who has noticed that now that families are much smaller, houses have become monstrosly large?

    So smaller, better built houses might work?

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  • Square houses do not make sense in a hurricane zone is the apparent philosophy of one US home manufacturer.

    Deltec’s round homes are designed to work with nature, rather than against it. Our homes have stood against some of the most detrimental storms in history including direct hits from Hurricanes Michael, Maria, Irma, Harvey, Sandy, Katrina, Hugo, Ivan and Charley. While nothing can be 100% completely hurricane proof, our track record speaks for itself: if you’re in a coastal area, our hurricane resistant design will perform far better than conventional construction. To see more images of some of our homes after hurricanes, visit our galleries.

    More: deltechomes(dot)com/learn-more/hurricane-resistance/

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  • Barbados should have a building code. We claim to be an almost First world country punching above our weight.

    The PM can instruct the relevant ministers to produce a National Building Code within the next 6 months.

    They can hire Grenville as lead consultant.

    It would add to the legacy being created by the best female Prime Minister Barbados has ever had.

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  • On social media a home which survived the raging waters and winds of Dorian was built fifteen feet above ground had coral Windows and hurricane impact windows and doors
    A building code along with having relevant and other necessary protective sheilds are also conducive

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants

    @ Simple
    @ David BU

    We do have a building code official or unofficial.
    The TCPA, the Mortgagee, the contractor/builder all have professional and personal guidelines/ requirements that do not clash with the official and unofficial codes. And most of the commentators know this. We just like to bitch for bitching sake rather than do what is required.
    The TCPA officers visit during construction . The Mortgage Finance Quantity surveyors visit before each tranch of the finance is disbursed. We like ‘nough talk and’ nough legislation to give the impression we doing something. Bare theatre.

    We need to grow up.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    “Tranch” should read “tranche” = loan installment.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    No building code guaranties, however well enforced , no damage to buildings.

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  • For the general audience:

    Straw man arguments — Wikipedoa
    “A straw man argument gives the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument while actually refuting an argument the opponent never presented.”

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  • Full moon is 14th September.

    Hopefully we will get some rain.

    So far less than 20 parts for September here where I measure.

    Last year September we had 11.6 inches.

    In 2017 we had 9.9 and in 2016 6.8 inches.

    The average from 1847 to 1984 for September is 7.2 inches.

    Either we will wash way with rain by the end of the month or BWA is in bigger trouble down the road.

    The aquifer won’t be recharged.

    For the year ending August 2019 we had 41.4 inches, a drought year.

    Hopefully the systems that are generated in the Atlantic bring some rain …… and no wind.

    Not long to wait!!

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  • @ John September 5, 2019 11:16 AM
    “Either we will wash way with rain by the end of the month or BWA is in bigger trouble down the road.
    The aquifer won’t be recharged.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why worry, dear John?

    Like the stale water in plastic bottles we can always import water to ‘recharge the aquifiers’ from the other islands which your god has endowed abundantly with rivers and flowing streams just like the four rivers that flow through Paradise called the Garden of Eden.

    It might just be ‘cheaper’ than having to engage the services of a rain-dancer’ from the Hopi people before the start of the winter tourism season.

    BTW, why can’t you, the holy diviner, tell us what happens to that body of water which flows through the Harrison cave? Where does it end up if not in Maxwell pond?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Vincent Codrington,

    Why don’t you attack Grenville Phillips II who wrote.

    ” PM Stuart claimed to be flabbergasted at the fragility of houses in Barbados, after the damage done by Tropical Storm Tomas in 2010. However, even that did not convince him to actively encourage the use of our Building Code. Instead, his administration abolished it. Thus, Barbados, in one of the most hazard prone regions on this planet, became the only nation on Earth to offer no meaningful structural building guidance to its residents.”

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  • BTW, why can’t you, the holy diviner, tell us what happens to that body of water which flows through the Harrison cave? Where does it end up if not in Maxwell pond?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Somebody once leggo a duck in Cole’s cave and it come out in Freshwater Bay!!

    You ent never hear dat one!!

    You is a Bajan or a wuh?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants at 12:09 PM

    You should know by now that I do not come on BU to attack anybody. I attempt to discuss the issues. If persons think I am attacking them, It is their inferences;not my intention. Grenville has a right to express his views. They need not coincide with the views of others.

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  • Looks like we got some rain up north!!

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  • It might just be ‘cheaper’ than having to engage the services of a rain-dancer’ from the Hopi people before the start of the winter tourism season.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I put on my grass skirt and went outside dancing to see if we could save a $!!!

    Looks like we don’t need any Hopi people.

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  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @JohnSeptember 5, 2019 4:33 PM “I put on my grass skirt.”

    You have just wasted a perfectly good business opportunity. if you had advertised your grass skirt dance on social media, and and invited audiences to watch on payment of a $20 fee, you would have a good few thousand dollars in your bank account by now.

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  • Ewart: The insurance industry passes on the natural disaster risk to reinsurers. Therefore, the local insurance companies have relatively little ‘skin in the game’.

    TLSN: If the house is under water, but built properly, then once the flood has subsided, the house can be dried out and reoccupied. But it must be built properly. And that is economical to do.

    Vincent: Town Planning does not look at the strength of the house. Neither does the bank’s inspectors. The builder has no Code to refer for guidance, so they typically build badly – as a default.

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  • @ John September 5, 2019 1:21 PM
    “Somebody once leggo a duck in Cole’s cave and it come out in Freshwater Bay!!
    You ent never hear dat one!!”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==

    You see John how you, the pale-skin Daffy Duck, have gone and trip up yourself or hoisted with your own petard in an underground pool of spring water!

    For that ‘wet duck’ to swim all the way from Cole’s cave to Freshwater bay it had to be wearing a pair of night goggles while paddling in that underwater river.

    Is that why the white settlers (of whom your ancestors made up a good portion) brought their ‘English’ ducks with them to race in the underground Bajan “rivers” the same way the African slaves brought their ‘green’ monkeys for meat?

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ nextpartyetc.

    I can only speak from my experience with house building . I know that the stakeholders in the building of my father’s house and mine paid attention to the engineering standards of construction. Moreover these standards were published in the local press and the GIS programmes especially at the beginning of the Hurricane Season.

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  • @Grenville

    the insurance companies pass the risk to reinsurers but you are aware it has to be paid for?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    And by the insured in subsequent periods even when the insurable event is several thousand miles away. Expect a rise in premia next year.

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  • David:

    Insurance companies can go bankrupt after a major hazard. What typically saves them are, few of the houses are insured (eg Grenada – Hurricane Ivan in 2004), and too many of the insured were under insured, so significantly less payout (ge Dominica – Hurricane Maria in 2017). They have learnt to manage their risks with the deductible.

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  • Vincent: Does your father’s house have adequate shear walls (10 ft width of wall on all four elevations, with no window or door openings, from foundation to roof)?

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  • “Does your father’s house have adequate shear walls (10 ft width of wall on all four elevations, with no window or door openings, from foundation to roof)?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Sounds like you are building concrete ovens here, mate!

    Barbados is in the Tropics. What are you proposing other than the construction of long-term crematoriums? Where would the energy come from to ‘cool down’ these concrete hothouses?

    The Caribbean archipelago was not created by Pachamama to be so heavily populated as obtains today.

    The indigenous populations had their caves and mountainous hideaways to retreat to when a hurricane (an Amerindian word meaning ‘god of evil’) came a visiting.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Miller

    I thought you would have realized that at the time this was supposed to have happened everybody had ducks!!!

    How could the particular duck have been identified?

    … must have been a goose!!

    Like

  • Miller:

    The main building material is up to the home owner. However, once you have selected your main force resisting material (reinforced concrete, masonry, timber, even palm leaves), you must build properly.

    Like

  • We need Earth Quake Housing to 8.0+ we need CAT 6 Housing, We need the homes along the shore up over 11 feet for the Ocean will come, its a matter of time and we know Mia want us all dead so she can get funding for storms, All the UDC wood house will wash and blow away,Yet She still plans to take the land for all others not born here to build a WALL like Trump,

    Like

  • Why you do not make a cup a cooling tea and chill so early? Is it any wonder your bombastic message will never resonate? Suppose Mia start attacking you about your domestic abuse case?

    #chill

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ nextpartyetc at 8:44 PM Yesterday
    I do not recall that four plain 10 sqft walls were part of the unofficial or official building requirements in the 1970s.

    Would you please explain how such a walls would make a building hurricane resistent.? I am seeking the scientific explanation –the process.

    Like

  • After reading all these illustrious suggestions on building codes
    Still at lost as to how these codes would be of help in a cat 5 to houses built less than 15ft above ground

    Liked by 1 person

  • Now that most comments are not in favour of Mottley leadership style
    David decides to close the blog which highlights Mia propaganda style of theatrics
    Lawd hav merci

    #####Miafakedleadershipstyle

    Like

  • Mariposa
    September 6, 2019 10:17 AM

    After reading all these illustrious suggestions on building codes
    Still at lost as to how these codes would be of help in a cat 5 to houses built less than 15ft above ground

    ++++++++++

    Probability of a Cat 5 in Barbados pretty small!!

    Given the current quality of construction what damage could we expect from a Cat 1 or a Cat 2.

    What is the threshold wind speed which would cause catastrophic building failure in Barbados?

    How big is the probability of getting that wind speed?

    All hurricanes are not created equal!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John

    Post Tomas should answer your question.

    Like

  • There is a lot to be learned from Grenville’s FREE hurricane preparedness posts.

    You could check your rafters to see if they have hurricane straps.

    If you have glass windows you could consider installing Hurricane shutters.

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    Houses that are not near to the coastline, or within a flood plain do not need to be 15 feet above ground in order to be protected from storm surge.

    Like

  • LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY TO WHAT GP11 SAYS ABOUT SECURING YOUR PROPERTIES PLEASE …

    Like

  • In my humble opinion these small islands govts should pay close attention to the destruction which the storm surge has done to over 16thousand homes in the bahamas and implement building codes for such disasters
    The water damaged played maasive damage in further weakening a structure already damaged by wind

    Like

  • .. according to wiki ….

    “As Tomas passed 20 miles (32 km) to the south of Barbados, it produced a wind gust of 63 mph (100 km/h), which damaged homes and power lines on the island.[34] There were also reports of blown off roofs, impassable roads and uprooted trees.[35]

    Later, a station on Saint Lucia recorded sustained winds of 48 mph (77 km/h), with gusts to 69 mph (110 km/h).[36] There was widespread damage to homes and power lines.[37] The winds destroyed the roof of a hospital and a school, with several trees and power lines blown down.[28] Additionally, a station on Martinique reported sustained winds of 72 mph (115 km/h), with gusts to 108 mph (173 km/h).[38]

    On Saint Vincent, there were no deaths but two persons sustained serious injuries while trying to effect repairs to house roofs and two persons were reported missing. The two persons reported missing were found on November 1, off the island of Balliceaux. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) declared all areas from Park Hill to Owia on the eastern side and all areas from Belle Isle to Fitz Hughes on the western side disaster zones. It was also reported that the agriculture sector sustained over US$25 million(EC$67 million) worth of damage.

    Over 1200 people were forced to seek refuge in hurricane shelters across St. Vincent. About 600 houses lost their roofs. A lot of downed power lines, trees and landslides made some roads impassable but NEMO, the Bridges Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) and the St. Vincent Electricity Services Company (VINLEC) were able to clear the main road by the November 1.[citation needed]

    Saint Lucia arguably had sustained the worst damage from the storm overall.

    Throughout Saint Lucia, severe flooding and mudslides resulted in at least 7 fatalities confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer. According to a government minister, several other people were missing and buried in landslides.[39] By the morning of November 2, two more fatalities were confirmed on the island.[40]”

    Like

  • When ya famous, ya famous.

    Like

  • … and Ivan, according to wiki …

    Effects of Hurricane Ivan in the Lesser Antilles and South America

    Ivan passed directly over Grenada on September 7, 2004, killing 39 people. The capital, St. George’s, was severely damaged and several notable buildings were destroyed, including the residence of the prime minister. Ivan also caused extensive damage to a local prison, allowing most of the inmates to escape.

    The island, in the words of a Caribbean disaster official, suffered “total devastation.” According to a member of the Grenadian parliament, at least 85% of the small island was devastated.[34] Extensive looting was reported. In all, damage on the island totalled US$815 million (2004 USD, $1.08 billion in 2018 USD).[1]

    Elsewhere in the Caribbean, a pregnant woman was killed in Tobago when a tree fell on top of her home,[16] and a 75-year-old Canadian woman drowned in Barbados.[1]

    Three deaths were reported in Venezuela.[35]

    Over five hundred homes on Barbados[36] and around 60 homes in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were either damaged or destroyed.[1][30]

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Ivan also went south of us.

    About 500 homes in Barbados damaged or destroyed.

    … out of how many?

    Perhaps 100K.

    Neither Ivan nor Tomas were severe.

    Janet was more severe and affected the south of Barbados worst.

    Most of the island escaped.

    None of the 3 passed us at Cat 5.

    You need to go back to the 18th and 19th century for the real extremes.

    However, any of the next few could be bad …. we just got to hope Dorian took most of the energy and there isn’t enough left to feed a really bad one.

    … but then there is next year and beyond!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • We have beaten the antiquated leadership styles of both fool governments TO DEATH..it’s something straight out of a 1950s…horror for black people nightmare…it is still reminiscent…of the Jim Crow days in the shithole that is the southern US…same crap continues to happen, the new age version of bottomfeeding shite leaders sucking on a vulnerable black popoulation..while pretending to be colonial slave masters…them and their parasitic minority criminal bribers…

    there are only so many ways we can continue saying this..until we run out of words…

    IT’S THE PEOPLE…….as many have OPINED in the last few months…particular since the Apes Hill side show…where the PEOPLE LOST MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF THEIR PENSION MONEY…thanks to all 3 sets of bottomfeeders living off the black population…..for 60 plus years……CAN AND HAVE TO STOP both sets of DBLP jokers…or it will NEVER END.

    just like they put and END to DLP REIGN OF TERROR, CORRUPTION AND THEFT…

    Like

  • Hurricanes and weather systems are merrily marching across the atlantic, it’s not something that will go away, man don’t have that kind of power…never did, never will…they only got LIP FOR EACH OTHER…so preparation is key, if ya ain’t tief all the money…lol

    Liked by 1 person

  • Kudos to Mr. Phillips II for re-emphasizing the need for building codes and the advice/suggestions he offered.

    If we chose to ignore damages caused by Janet in 1955; Ivan – 2004 and Tomas – 2010…….. the catastrophic damage and devastation Hurricane Irma, which was listed as category 5, caused to Barbuda……… as recent as 2017…….. should have been enough for Barbadians to consider building codes and take hurricane preparedness seriously.

    Like

  • Oops…this is the Famous Persons Video…when ya famous, ya notorious….

    ah probably forgot to copy it..lol..am sure Enuff will forgive me..

    Like

  • Grenville has emphasized the point that developing and enforcing strict building codes is not cost-prohibitive.

    Even the building codes used in earthquake-prone Japan, which are probably the most rigorous and sophisticated in the world, add only an estimated 10% or 20% to construction costs. For that you get improvements in safety, durability, aesthetics, and energy-efficiency.

    Like

  • Grenville has been the single voice through the years on this building code business. We ignore him at our peril.

    Like

  • Regarding costs …..

    The financial institution that lends the money and the person who borrows it deserve to lose if they together do not ensure the construction cannot stand up to at least an average hurricane.

    While a Cat 5 is not impossible in Barbados, when the contractor hands over the keys, he should do so with some sort of certification that the building will meet whatever codes are necessary for the building to withstand an average hurricane for these parts without losing its roof or worse, collapsing.

    If the lender and borrower agree that the building should withstand a Cat 5, the necessary engineering work needs to be done.

    I suspect the problem is that very often a draftsman provides plans which the contractor follows with little engineering input.

    We have been lucky (God is a Bajan) up until now.

    I don’t see how the contractor or draftsman can be held liable by either the lending institution or the borrower if the two have purposely avoided having engineering input and have “conspired” with the same contractor and draftsman to “save” that cost..

    Earthquakes can happen but it is far more likely for a situation such as Arch Cot to occur!!

    Geotechnical studies should be mandatory before any land is passed for construction.

    If we get to that level of sophistication, building codes follow.

    Like

  • Here we go

    1 – Geotechnical studies should be mandatory.
    2 – Building codes should be mandatory.
    3 – Water storage (according to the sq footage) should be mandatory.
    4- House insurance should be mandatory.

    Yes all these thing are good and who can afford them will do them.

    Tell that to the man and wife with 2/3 children to feed and send school and cannot even afford to get a plot of land but want some roof over their heads to raise their children!

    Some people got wall houses that did going up for bout ten years now and cant even get them finished.

    Tell me who got the heart to deny a family from moving in because their house was built to the normal minimal standard (without Geotech, hurricane/earthquake resistance or insurance).

    When I cant afford to build to your all standards but still got to house my family are you all go to help me rent a place to raise my kids?

    Are y’all going to have assisted living like they do in the USA?
    All will only the rich will be allowed to own the land and build houses and the poor will have to rent whatever he can afford?

    Like

  • These empty headed brain dead, puffed up with titles small island leaders need to STOP PROMOTING low lying islands as some sort of personal possessions and safe havens in the population’s heads….any and all islands can end up UNDER THE SEA at any given time, during any hurricane season, especially with global warming and more and DANGEROUSLY POWERFUL HURRICANES roaming off the African coast.

    ….all the USELESS rhetoric about owning islands and “we land” rubbish must end and REPLACED with UPDATED education about the DANGERS of living on low lying lands that can EASILY BE RECLAIMED BY THE SEA…..REALITY.

    Yall don’t own any land, ya don’t own any island, the backwardness and idiocy must stop or many thousands of people will end up under the sea during any given hurricane season, especially when the leaders refuse to make the islands safe due to the citizens throwing garbage all over the place while allowing mile high wild trees to dot the islands landscape on every inch of the island making an already dangerous situation even worse..

    ..ya can’t stop hurricanes but ya can educate the people into REALITY instead of continuing to instill all that fanciful and FANTASY NONSENSE in their heads for political mileage and reelection purposes.

    Like

  • Heard Abrahams boasting that the underground pumps which funnels the effluent in the ocean withstood tropical storm Dorian which is a bold faced lie since the storm had no major effect of causing damaged nowhere on the island
    My question to Abraham could those pumps withstand the enormous power of Dorian which took placed in the Bahamas as the the hurricane surge cover the entire island

    Like

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