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It’s not an easy road!

Downed utility poles make it difficult for motorists, pedestrians

BY KARYL WALKER walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 26, 2012    

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THE removal of fallen trees may have been an easy task for some residents of the Corporate Area and sections of St Catherine yesterday — a day after the passage of Hurricane Sandy.

However, when they left their homes they realised that the damage on the streets showed a clearer picture of the wrath of the category one hurricane which swept across the island on Wednesday afternoon.

Getting around was neither easy for motorists nor pedestrians. Fallen trees and downed utility poles with high tension wires made it difficult for many.

A concrete utility pole, broken near its base, took down two others with it on the Six Miles overhead bridge, forcing traffic to be diverted from the east bound lane, causing a serious traffic snarl.

According to Wayne Francis, an independent contractor with the Jamaica Public Service, the damage caused power outages in communities along Washington Boulevard, between Six Miles and a JPS sub-station in the vicinity of Zaidie Gardens.

“This line is the main feeder for those communities, and we have to get it up and then assess the damage in each community before power can be restored on a phased basis,” Francis told the Jamaica Observer.

Sandy also uprooted a wooden utility pole and flung it across Molynes Road in the vicinity of the Our Lady Of The Angels Preparatory School.

At nearby Sundown Crescent residents were busy clearing fallen trees and broken limbs from their yards. At least two homes in the community suffered significant roof damage but one resident was thankful that their were no fatalities.

“Everybody get a little touch, but at least no one lost their life and we have to be thankful,” one man said.

At Seaward Drive, close to a impoverished community known as ‘Samocan’, men, women and children were seen removing trees and placing the refuse left by Sandy in an open lot at the intersection of Seaward Drive and Olympic Way.

At Ashoka Road, the Waterhouse-based home of Olympic sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, downed electricity poles and power lines made driving impossible and the residents were forced to hop, skip and jump over and around high-tension wires and a destroyed transformer.

Fraser’s grandmother’s home did not escape Sandy’s wrath as the roof of the wooden structure was blown off.

At the nearby Penwood Road several trees and zinc fences were thrown to the ground by the force of the category one hurricane.

In Portmore, St Catherine several homes at Walker’s Crescent in Gregory Park were seriously damaged, while there were also downed power lines on the Dunbeholden Road.

Several trees were uprooted along the Old Harbour Road, which made motoring treacherous at times. A National Works Agency tractor was seen collecting debris and dumping it in the bed of a truck along that roadway.

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