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Here come the rains, again

Monday, June 02, 2014    

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TWO days before the official start of the Hurricane Season approaches, government agencies -- the Road Safety Unit (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, and the National Works Agency (NWA) -- are urging motorists to take every precaution when using the island's road network during this period.

"Since the beginning of the year, 128 persons have died," said Kenute Hare, director of the RSU.

The director advises motorists to cut their speeds on wet surfaces as well as leave ample space between themselves and the vehicle in front.

"If you can't see the driver's front tyres, it means you are too close and won't be able to stop that quickly in the event of an emergency. And when it rains, even more space is needed as the friction level between the tyres and asphalt is lower," he said.

In the meantime, Stephen Shaw, communication and customer services manager at National Works Agency (NWA), is echoing similar sentiments to Hare.

"We always advise persons not to attempt to cross flooded roads and exercise caution in areas that are known to have fallen rocks. Corridors such as the Bog Walk Gorge and the Junction should be used with extreme caution during times of inclement weather," Shaw told Auto.

The NWA is the government agency which builds and maintains the main road network as well as flood control system.

Last year, the showers brought severe damage to roads in St Mary, sections of St Andrew, sections of Portland as well as the road from Golden Spring to Lawrence Tavern.

"They have been reconnected," said Shaw. "In the latter part of last year and into the first quarter of 2014, the NWA has embarked on other projects including river training at Troy, Sea Defence at Blueberry Hill and Orange Bay, Portland. Additional work (Sea Defence) at Roselle, St Thomas and river Training at Castleton, St Mary."

The communication and customers services manager said there was no project underway "in preparation" of the season. However, work being done would ensure that the network would be more reliable even in the event of a natural disaster.

"We have work taking place at Grants Town and Jacks River, St. Mary. We have done work in Troy, Trelawny; Ironshore, St. James; Spanish River, Portland; Cave, Westmoreland; Blueberry Hill and Orange Bay, Portland," Shaw added.

The Hurricane Season begins June 1 and ends on November 30.

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