Flooding again!


Flooding again!

Heavy rain wreaks havoc on already affected communities

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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As if the heavy rainfall that set back several Jamaican communities three weeks ago was not enough, more agony was dumped on mainly rural folk yesterday, following consistent showers across all parishes, officials have reported.

Up to last night there was no report regarding fatalities, but the living condition of thousands of citizens, who were just recovering from the earlier episode of flooding, was further eroded as the expected rainfall took its toll.

In the central Jamaica region where mainly Clarendon communities were affected weeks before, some of them came in for a hammering again.

The National Works Agency (NWA) reported flooding and blocked roads in several areas of south-central Jamaica, among them Scotts Pass, Clarendon, close to the Manchester border; as well as other Clarendon communities, including Toll Gate, Milk River, Mitchell Town, Portland Cottage, Rocky Point, Osbourne Store, and Swansea.

“If it continues to rain like this people have to start moving out,” one resident of the Swansea/Belle Plan area told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. “It is the same thing happening all over again. Whenever it rains for any long period down here, it's flooding, mainly because the authorities don't clean the drains, so the water has no where to run off to. It's frustrating,” the woman stated.

There were also reports of blocked main roads at the centre of Mandeville, Manchester. Sections of Treasure Beach, south St Elizabeth, were also under water, the NWA spokesman said.

Yesterday the Meteorological Service of Jamaica (Met Service) maintained a flash flood warning for the eastern and central parishes of St Mary, Portland, St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, and St Ann, as well as the western parish of Trelawny. The Met Service also maintained a flash flood watch for other western parishes — St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover and St James.

A flash flood warning, the Met Service said, means that flooding has been reported or will occur shortly, while a flash flood watch means that flooding is possible. In both cases, the Met Service said, people should move cautiously and be on the lookout if the weather gets worse.

Rain in the eastern parish of St Mary caused flooding in the parish capital of Port Maria, a situation that continues to give citizens and business operators in the town major headache. Residents of the communities of Broadgate and Devon Pen, which have been affected by falling rocks and boulders in recent years, said that sections of the busy Junction Road, which links St Andrew and St Mary, were being affected by landslides and high water at some sections.

There were no reports of damage in the town of Highgate, although one resident feared that if the rain continued, there would be major challenges.

“This rain don't stop fall from Friday, and I would be surprised if we find out that some major road cut away or people get flood out by later tonight,” the resident stated.

The NWA reported that a major landslide had occurred in the eastern St Thomas town of Bath, and that the road that links Wilmington to the parish capital of Morant Bay had also been affected by a landslide.

The heavy rain caused a traffic snarl in the city of Montego Bay, which on Friday was thrown into uproar and confusion following the shooting death of a gangster who was sprayed with bullets as he left the Montego Bay courthouse, where he had gone to honour a mention date in an ongoing matter.

There were no reports from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management that those affected by flooding had moved into emergency shelters.

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