“I HOPE THIS DOESN’T GET WORSE”: Downtown art gallery plagued with flooding from heavy rainfall

“I HOPE THIS DOESN’T GET WORSE”: Downtown art gallery plagued with flooding from heavy rainfall
Water rises eight inches above street level, spilling into Sixty 2 Sixty art gallery downtown in September 2021.

“I was afraid; it was only me in the shop and my family couldn’t come to rescue me” 

Water reportedly eight inches above street level

NASSAU, BAHAMAS —  Downtown art gallery Sixty 2 Sixty experienced a bout of flooding at its establishment on Sunday, with heavy rainfall rising at least eight inches above street level and spilling into the shop. 

Shantelle Collie, sales associate and mother of the proprietor, said: “At first it came like a heavy downpour, and when I looked, I saw the water just coming, slipping through the glass — and that’s hurricane glass that’s supposed to keep the water out.

The Sixty 2 Sixty art gallery owner attempts to mop up excess water that flooded the downtown establishment.

“I put the floor rug down and tried to stick some plastic around it, but it still didn’t work because when all of the big trucks and cars passed, it just pushed all of the water in so hard. I could see it pushing in.

“I just went in the back and I took the boxes off of the ground and put some in the chairs and some up, and I sat down in the chair —  I got two chairs and I kept my legs up — and I was just watching it just come in…

“I said: ‘Oh my God. I hope this doesn’t get worse.’ 

“It came up, I say, like eight inches.”

According to Shantelle Collie, the store, which has been located in the downtown area for a year and a half now, is no stranger to flooding.

She recalls the store having at least one other flooding incident prior to this latest one, noting that this one was the worst the store has ever seen.

“The first flooding wasn’t too bad. This second one was really bad,” she lamented.

“This one was really terrible.”

Collie said that at first, she was fearful of the degree of flooding, noting that she was also alone in the store when it occurred. 

“I was afraid. It was only me in the shop, and my family couldn’t come to rescue me,” she said.

“I told my daughter [on the phone]: ‘The shop flooded really badly. I didn’t even know it would get to this.’”

None of the items in the store sustained any water damage, according to the owner, June Collie. 

She said: “We didn’t have any water damage because most of it is just tile in here.”

Commenting on the extent of the flooding, she asserted that “the water just comes in and makes a mess”. 

Shantelle Collie said: “When there’s heavy rainfall, I just turn back [and go home].

“When those cars pass, they wet you up, so I just jump back in my car and go back home. 

“That’s how terrible it is.”

Since Sunday, the flooding has subsided substantially, though there is still water puddled in front of the art gallery.

Neither the proprietor nor her mother has had communication with their landlord or personnel from the Ministry of Works regarding mitigation efforts for downtown flooding up to press time yesterday. 

Written by Eyewitness News Intern Gabrielle Sterling