News

Rain brings nervous moments, anger in flood-prone areas

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012    

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HEAVY rains from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Isaac continued to lash sections of the island yesterday morning, triggering anger over poor drain-cleaning work among residents in several flood-prone communities in Kingston and St Catherine.

The residents accused the authorities of dragging their feet in preparing for the current hurricane season, and said their experiences yesterday were all too familiar.

"Every time rain fall, it is the same thing; our community is left flooded," said a resident of New Haven who gave her name only as Stacy.

She was one of several persons who stood nervously watching as flood waters swept through the Kingston 20 community yesterday.

"If the Government and the other authorities really serious about cleaning the drains and preparing for flooding they would change the way they carry out cleaning of drains in the area," said Earl Taylor, another resident from the community.

"Every year it is the same problem; we hear that the drains them blocked, so what sense does it make that we vote for people to represent us?" Taylor asked.

In the Duncan's Pen community in St Catherine the complaints were the same.

"Every year as soon as the heavy rains come down, the roads them block up," said one man who identified himself only as Sam.

He acted as spokesman for a group of people gathered on a bridge leading to the community and who were trying to remove debris from a section of the bridge to allow water to run freely.

In Waterford, Portmore, residents raised concerns that a drain close to the Waterford Police Station was not cleared.

Councillor Keith Blake (JLP, Independence City Division) said that the problem was temporary and that steps were being taken to clean that and several other drains in the area.

Yesterday, the Meteorological Service warned that while Tropical Storm Isaac was no longer a threat to Jamaica, a broad trough remains across the western Caribbean.

The trough, the Met Service said, was responsible for the severe weather conditions affecting Jamaica and will linger over the next 24 to 48 hours.

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