BY INGRID BROWN Associate editor — special assignment firstname.lastname@example.org
WHILE Sunday's islandwide rains did very little damage to communities in St Thomas, the homes and businesses of some residents of Poor Man's Corner in the parish were flooded after a traditional trouble spot along the main road between Yallahs and Morant Bay became inundated.
And with the threats of further rains from a trough now hovering over the Western Caribbean and Jamaica, the residents are appealing to the relevant authorities to fix that section of the road.
However, given the years of unfulfilled promises to have the problem rectified, the residents say all they can now do is keep their fingers crossed that the parish will be spared, as any further rainfall will leave them marooned.
The residents said even the slightest rainfall is enough to cause flooding along this section of the main road.
Headley Johnson believes the problem can be corrected if the authorities would lift the road and channel the water through a nearby property.
The residents said repeat representation has been made to their member of parliament and councillors but to date nothing has been done to rectify the problem.
Yesterday, operators of small vehicles, unable to manoeuvre the flooded roadway, were forced to create an alternative route along the soft shoulder, leaving pedestrians with no footpath.
Bar operator Millicent Holding said she had not had a customer all day as patrons were unable to access the business which sits by the side of the flooded road.
Instead, she spent the day sweeping debris that the water had brought into her neighbour's yard which had been flooded.
"I couldn't even come through the front of the bar because of how high the water come, and so me haffi walk through the back and come out through me neighbour yard although it was flooded too," she told the Jamaica Observer.
And although the flood waters had receded from the front of the bar when the Observer visited, Holding said she was not expecting to get any customers while the main road was flooded as some motorists have resorted to driving almost on the bar's doorstep to avoid the water.
"Some men come and sit down here fi get a drink but dem just get fed up and leave because them no have no where fi park them car, and when the other motorists dem drive through the water it splash up all the way into the bar," she said.
The sand, which the flood water deposited in front of the business, is also of great concern, as Holding said this will make the place very dusty when it becomes dry.
Holding said she is praying that the rains are over, however she is not very optimistic.
"Dem say the rain no over yet, and so me no know how we going to manage if it continues," she said.
Morris Williams said while his yard was flooded during Sunday's rains, his neighbour across the street was even worse off as she had no way of getting in and out of her yard.
"Look on the lady fence, she can't even get to paint it because as the rain fall, the road flood out and go over into har yard," he said.
He recalled one occasion when she was forced to enter her home via her neighbour's fence as she was no match for the flood waters.
Williams said although the water did not reach inside his house this time around, if the rain continues it is a certainty that he will be flooded out.
"See the rain ah come again and me no know what me going to do," Willams said.
In the flood-prone community of Heartease, the residents were keeping a watchful eye on the nearby river which often leaves them marooned during heavy rains.
"The water no come up yet, but we ah watch it because if we continue fi get more rain we going to be in serious trouble," one resident said.
Meanwhile, in several other communities in this eastern parish, residents were not only giving thanks that the rains had not left behind their usual damage but were seriously praying that this would be the last of the rains for now.
"The Lord see and know say we couldn't tek no more because some ah we don't even recover from Ivan yet," said Samuel, a resident of Duhaney Pen.
His reference was to Hurricane Ivan which brushed the eastern southern coasts of the island in 2004.