Devon Williams, who has been reported to be seeking to run for the Progressive National Party (PNP) in North and Middle Caicos, has seemingly begun his campaign. In an open letter to the government, he is seeking to hold the interim administration responsible for failing to repair the Middle-North Caicos Causeway, which was damaged some four years ago in August 2008 by Hurricane Hanna.
Hanna, which began as a tropical storm, dumped a substantial amount of rain for several days before it began to pick up speed. A weather station on Middle Caicos recorded that peak winds reached 80 mph, qualifying the storm as a weak category one hurricane. The causeway was constructed of earthen fill, with small plastic pipes serving as culverts and one short bridge to accommodate tidal flows. The causeway and adjacent roads are barely one foot above yearly high tides.
The counterclockwise circulation of Hanna, which formed over Middle Caicos, created a tidal surge from the south that inundated the causeway and roads at high tide, washing away the pavement, and the low concrete walls alongside the pavement. The small plastic conduits quickly became clogged with debris.
According to Williams, Hanna was an exceptionally large and strong storm. After Hanna passed, the causeway was impassable and was breached in several places requiring the use of large excavators to do a partial restoration and make the vital link passable again. Williams has joined others in questioning why temporary repairs promised to begin in June have not gone forward. Since 2008, the road has continued to deteriorate and at the western end is down to one usable lane.
Repairs promised by Governor Ric Todd include larger concrete culvert(s) and raising the road bed.
The causeway was due to be built from funds granted to the previous Derek Taylor-led government in May 2003. However, Taylor failed to let voters know he had received the grant. Michael Misick, who took over the government from Taylor, announced he “had the funds in the bank” at a Middle Caicos Christmas party in December 2003.
However, the causeway construction was not begun until almost three years later in late 2006 during the run up to the early February 2007 election,
Williams, who previously ran a local radio station, which has now closed, was the master of ceremonies at the airport road closure in Providenciales, which shut down the Provo airport until an alternate route was established. As a result of Williams’ actions, he was arrested and taken into custody.
He has remained an outspoken critic of the interim government.