Sunday, Jul 21st

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Editorial - Better safe than sorry

It was good to read in Wednesday's paper that the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI is prepared for the hurricane season. It must be said, the tendering process for essential trench-cleaning work is still to be completed and obviously this should take place sooner rather than later.

Government assures the most critical water runoff systems in fact were cleared, which is a comforting thought. After all, there have been less-positive experiences with flash flooding in the recent past, including one occasion when two people actually died on the Dutch side in a downpour that was not even qualified as a tropical wave, let alone a named storm or hurricane.

Some might argue that the season started on June 1, but everyone knows the most intense period for the formation of these disturbances is actually between July and November. However, that also means time to prepare is running out fast.

Driving around the island does not exactly give the impression that the majority of private citizens and businesses have done so up to now. There is still to found in several districts plenty of loose-lying debris and materials that could become hazardous projectiles in case of strong winds or could clog ditches during heavy rainfall.

An ongoing cleanup campaign offers residents the opportunity to get rid of such rubbish and people are urged to take advantage for their own security as well as that of others. Knowingly allowing potentially dangerous situations to remain that way under the circumstances would be highly irresponsible.

Experts have predicted a less-active season due primarily to the "El Niño" weather phenomenon, but readers need to keep in mind that it only takes one. Better safe than sorry.